About two months into the COVID lockdown blues, I was asked to review two brand new EPs from a hardcore/ punk rock band from Andalucia, Spain. My eyes perked up and I replied, “Sure” because I do not remember listening to a punk band from Spain before, and also because my girlfriend grew up in Spain. Also, the fact that this band has just released two different EPs on the same day perked my interest as well. The band I am talking about is called SAND AND SALT and the first EP is more of a poppy style “Fat Wreck Chords” sound called ALL THE GOOD THINGS. The other EP they released is called THRIVE which has more of a NY style “Youth Crew” sound. So, as you can see, my interest in listening to these two records were burning a hole in my pocket as I was trying to finish up work and get home.
So naturally, I feel it best to throw in the ALL THE GOOD THINGS EP, which is how I would recommend which order one should listen to these releases. They start off the EP with the song, GLASSEY, a minute and a half intro that has a cool riff and a good melodic guitar riff. A good way to start the record and give you a feel for what this EP is all about. Next is LIFE IS HUGE. Powerful, melodic guitar riffs to match the vocal range of singer Feda De La Calle, who also handles guitars and bass duties for most songs on these albums. Fast verses and catchy, melodic choruses and tons of positivity flowing from this song. A great, catchy punk song all the way. I have always felt that a little pop punk is good for a well-balanced diet, so this song is perfect.
Next up is a song called, I DISSENT. Another great, pop-punk song. I mean it. This band has not missed a beat yet. Like a 90’s PROPAGHANDI or NOFX song, this song kicks ass! Next up is a short song called NOTHING MORE. Another quick song about the band’s love for the beach! As a resident of Florida, I can totally relate and it is great to see a “Beach Punk” band today that is not a Sublime rip-off. Finally, they close out this release with the title track, ALL THE GOOD THINGS. They absolutely saved the best for last with this gem. A great pop-punk song about falling in love with a girl on the beach is totally refreshing and just what I needed to tell you the truth. This song has all the feels of an old BOUNCING SOULS song and was a great way to wrap the album. Although, it left me wanting more, I thought about the whole other EP from this band that eagerly awaits me.
So, a few easy clicks and I am on to the next EP called THRIVE which was already rumored to be the heavier and faster of the two. Another intro song called STORM starts off this album. Definitely, a total different vibe on this release already. Thunderous bass and a heavy guitar riff let you know which way this album is going to go. They head right into, RESTART. An impressive hardcore track about starting over. As a divorced father, still learning how to live one’s life over from scratch, I can relate to this song’s message in a big way. With lyrics like “A defeat is a new chance, when we fall, we must restart”. You will be screaming, “Restart!” too, by time this song is over, trust me.
The third track of this EP, DON’T LABEL ME, starts off with a solo guitar riff, joined by the singer before drums and the rest come in. They quickly get into mosh pit mode when he cries out, “Don’t judge me, don’t label me!” Another killer song off this record as well. Jumping right into MY BEST, they keep things moving fast. Real fast! It’s a wonder how drummer Adriana Bouza keeps up at all. A mix of fast circle pit with a creepy crawl vibe is what makes this song stand out from the others. And finally, they close out this EP with the second title track, also called THRIVE. They open the verse with lightning fast guitar riffs and gritty, but melodic vocals. The gang vocals on the choruses though, is what gives the song its hardcore validity. A quick build-up before the final breakdown is great. Then, a quick abrupt ending still leaves you wanting even more.
Bravo to this band! Not only did they write two great punk EPs, but they also provided me with a rather awesome listening experience as well. Mad props for creativity and the way they achieved balance and made two great records, all at the same time, let me know where all the Spanish Bombs are dropping!