In every generation, a lot of artist come up and get pushed out by bigger musicians and bands and the ones that manage to hold on and strive are the ones who innovate, push boundaries and don’t play safe. The Richmond, Virginia rock outfit Conditions released their second full length “Full of War” back in 2013 and was a breath a fresh air during that year which was surrounded heavier sounding bands like Of Mice and Men and Memphis May Fire. Conditions managed to stay away from sounding the norm in 2013 and produced that album which was their last record that being said they ended on a high note.
“Full of War” begins with the knock-the-wall-down and in your face opener Walking Separate Way which immediately sets the tone for the album. It’s a fast song with quick jabs in the chorus that both vocalists Brandon Roundtree and guitarist Jason Marshall throw at you and then bring you back with the fast and heavy breakdown. This of song structure is loosely imitated throughout “Full of War”. The songs are carefully crafted and Conditions are trying their best to make each song sound different from the others, this is accomplished by such songs as Open Eyes that throws the record in another direction and Love Elusive that shows the band has a number of sides musically, being fast and simple and slow and technical. One of those sides is also pop influenced face Best Mistake brings out the rock radio friendly side of them but still remains on top their game. Both Wonderful Lie and Not Giving Up…Not Yet is the song style that the band is known for, a mixture of powerful and epic chorus along with Roundtree’s powerful vocals soaring over guitarists Marshals and Alex Howard melodies that bounce of each other.
The record isn’t perfect, but it’s very, very close to being so. Around the second half of the album it feels like it loses steam songs aren’t as catchy and interesting but still do a lot to hold their own weight. A lot of songs feel like the choruses could be even more bigger and grander, because each of the verses are amazing buildups but it’s the pay off that suffers but these are just minor complaints, “Full of War” was one of the best albums that came out that year and basically showcased a raw talent of an underrated band.
Sadly they did break up in 2014 a year after the release, but as I’m writing this review I’ve discovered via their Twitter they may be making a comeback.
By Raza Malik.