Himnos / La Cruz split LP

Both of these bands appeared on Crossbar’s excellent Oi! The Antidote compilation from 2021. Although neither of their contributions were among my favorites, I was looking forward to hearing what each would deliver on this split long-player. Hailing from Mexico, HIMNOS belts out five cuts of mid-paced street rock’n’roll. All the elements are present—tough, raspy sing-alongs, bouncing bass, four-chord guitars—but I’m left with the feeling that something is missing. There were a few surprises along the way. I wasn’t expecting to hear the whine of a harmonica in “419” for example, but that’s not the type of surprise I would ever champion. On the flipside, we have Spain’s LA CRUZ. Listening to this left me with the same basic impression that I got from HIMNOS: nothing is technically missing, yet something is missing. Again, we have some competent Oi! that meets but does not exceed expectations. LA CRUZ’s curveball is the saxophone that turns up on the rocksteady-inspired “Recuerdos.” Sorry (not sorry), but wind instruments get you nowhere with me. Despite it all, I’ll be watching out for both of these bands in the future. There’s obvious potential, this just falls a bit short.