Album Review-“Missing Hours” By Conditions

     After eight years and six recorded releases, Conditions are calling it a day.  The Richmond group made their trade combining post-hardcore aggression and pop punk catchiness (and occasional sentimentality) in an excellent blend that translated perfectly to their unbridled live performances.  However, before finally turning out the lights, the group has decided to release one more record, Missing Hours, and send themselves off in a fashion fitting of such a quality band.   

     Missing Hours is in no way designed to attract new fans.  It is a collection of cover songs, acoustic version of old classics, and a handful of brand new material. This being said, Missing Hours is the perfect way for Conditions to end their career.  The new material brings all of Conditions’ positive traits to the table.  The aggression, subtle sentimentality, soaring melodic sensibility, it is all here.  “Make Your Art” touches on the band’s history and the values they’ve stood on throughout their career, its anthemic while being touching and personal.

     The covers, “Long Way Down” by Goo Goo Dolls, “Runaways” by The Killers, and “With Or Without You” by U2 are each very well done.  They make just enough effort to break from the original to allow Conditions to work their personality into the music.  The “Runaways” cover in particular stands out, unearthing a welcome dose of Springsteen in vocalist Brandon Roundtree and showing a side of the group that they pull off superbly.

     When the closing acoustic tracks come around, devoted fans of the group will be extremely pleased, it makes one wonder why the band never released any acoustic tracks previously.  The 4 classics from the band’s catalogue are rendered beautifully into acoustic form.  Instead of feeling like “redone” versions of the full band originals, the songs gain a life of their own.  The inherent emotion of the music shines through in its own brand new fashion, and it is something amazing to experience.  Not a single one of these songs is lacking in any form, they are intimate, lovely, catchy, and well thought out in every sense of the term, and truly the highlight of Missing Hours.  This record is more than a sign of pending nostalgia, it is a collection of various points from Condition’s timeline, and captures the band in an awesome manner.  It is a tragically beautiful thing to see a band that has put so much of themselves into their art, lay themselves down to rest, with Missing Hours that moment could not be put forth in a better way.  Pick it up and sign along.

     The band’s final show is scheduled for July 12th at The National in Richmond Virginia and will undoubtedly be an unreal experience.  Conditions, you will be sorely missed.

9/10

-Max Robison

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