Sand and Salt – Strike Two
In times of desperation I know, we gotta embrace life!
Featuring three members of my Andalusian favorites Minority of One, Tarifa, Spain’s Sand and Salt have to be one of the best posi-core bands I’ve heard in a long time, and it takes a lot for me to say that since I’m pretty jaded when it comes to anything on the poppier and more melodic end of the hardcore spectrum.
Released by German DIY label Seven Oaks Records, Strike Two combines the band’s two most recent EPs (both due out in early 2021), on a beautifully crafted gray tape with a little extra dinosaur fun on the cover for you: it includes the Embrace Life EP, plus the Feet On The Ground single.
Overflowing with life and positive energy, these songs will take you on a 16-minute ride to raise your PMA! The Embrace Life tracks cascade with ease over a sharp, fast, and anthemic Youth Crew-inspired hardcore foundation. On these five songs, the band plays with so much energy and speed that you can clearly feel their long time commitment to the hardcore scene. Fede’s vocals are breathless and unrelenting, with many sing-along parts that conjure up images of massive stage dives, finger pointing and sweaty band members piled around the mic along with the crowd.
Now, the final track, “Feed On The Ground”, was released as a separate EP earlier this year, but I have to admit that it’s my least favorite of the tracks crammed onto this tape. On this track, the band goes full-on pop-punk, and while they do a reasonably good job of emulating the genre’s most significant and catchy tropes, I still can’t say that they really stand out from the crowd.
Even though I may not have enjoyed their poppier songs as much as the hardcore ones (and I mean their 2020 material too), I think Salt and Salt is definitely a band to look up to. This stuff feels like a deep cleansing of both body and mind, and if you’re already dreaming of kite-surfing on the beautiful beaches of Andalusia in the south of Spain—I don’t know what you’re waiting for!