Title: Strike Two
Label: Seven Oaks Records
Featuring three members of my Andalusia favorites Minority of One, Sand and Salt from Tarifa, Spain, have to be among 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 fairly jaded when it comes to anything on the poppier and more melodic end of the hardcore spectrum.
Released by the German DIY label Seven Oaks Records, Strike Two combines the two latest Sand and Salt EPs (both released in the beginning of 2021) on a beautifully crafted gray tape with an extra dinosaur fun on the cover for you: this includes Embrace Life EP, plus the Feet On The Ground single.
Overflowing with life and positive energy, these songs will take you on a 16 minutes ride to boost your PMA! The Embrace Life tracks cascade with ease over a sharp, fast and anthemic Youth Crew-inspired hardcore base. On these five songs, the band plays with so much energy and pace that you can clearly sense their long time commitment to the hardcore scene. Fede’s vocals are breathless and relentless, with a lot of sing-along parts that conjure the image of massive stage-dives, finger pointing and sweaty band members stacked around the mic together with the crowd.
Now, the last track, “Feed On The Ground”, was released as a separate EP earlier this year, but I’d have to admit it’s my least favorite of those crammed on this tape. On this piece, the band goes full-scale pop-punk and while they do a reasonably good job emulating the genre’s most significant and catchiest tropes, I still can’t say 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 you should look up to. This stuff feels like a deep cleanse of both body and mind, and if you’re already dreaming about kite-surfing on the beautiful Andalusia beaches in the south of Spain—I don’t know what you’re waiting for!