“Life is a series of decisions and what decisions but little mini-wars, opposing forces, pulling upon each other?”
Deep words indeed, words used by Roundtree (Vocals) when speaking of the latest album, Full Of War from Northeast based post-hardcore/melodic rock unit Conditions. Described as combining the contemplative but catchy bounce of Jimmy Eat World, the esoteric but driving atmospherics of Thrice, the dark experimentalism tempered by soft sentimentality of Brand New and the soaring radio melodies of Foo fighters and Blink 182, Conditions aren’t exactly your average everyday post hardcore unit.
Produced by Brandon Paddock (The Used, Papa Roach, Black Veil Brides), Full Of War presents a showcase of what Conditions have to offer musically, stated as offering songs filled with heart, soul, spirit and most of all, purpose, whilst ensuring the listener is aware of who they are listening to throughout. Accompanied by the statement that “The essential conditions of everything you do must be choice, love, passion” (Juliette Nadia Boulanger) which inspired the name of the band, Conditions aren’t content to sit still, continually evolving and developing their style, ensuring that no matter what, the message is clear – they are not a ‘play it safe’ band.
It’s fitting that given the message behind the band and the description offered up, their music follows suit and hits all the notes you would expect. From the catchy hooks of Walking Separate Ways which opens Full OF War through to the reflective and fresh sounds of Open Eyes, demonstrating their desire to evolve, differentiate and progress throughout the album. Balancing the rock edge of their music with a desire to stand out and be recognised on the scene, Conditions continue to push boundaries throughout the record, achieving high points such as Love Elusive and Wonderful Lie, all the time ensuring there’s no note out of place or progression that doesn’t fit yet not allowing themselves to become pedantic or over the top.
Packing Full Of War with tracks that are sure to reach out to the listener and leave them helpless to resist, Conditions have put together an album that steps the thin line between post-hardcore and straight forward rock music, stepping up and flying the flag for their cause with pride. Stand out points include Wonderful Lie, The Descent Of Man and the single in waiting that is What We Wait For, and with pretty much every other track at least matching the standard of their peers, now is the time for Conditions to be seen, heard and recognised.
There’s no doubt that the rock scene is due a shake up, and with Conditions offering up an album of the standard they have, Full Of War could well be the album to do it.
Words: Dave Nicholls