Fluorescent Youth

Written by: DR on 16/09/2010 22:00:00

Conditions are a five-piece band based in Richmond, VA, featuring members of Scarlet, Motion Picture Demise and FIAD. They already have two releases under their belt, "You Are Forgotten" and a self-titled EP, and, while still unsigned, supported the likes of Paramore, New Found Glory and Good Charlotte.

Phew. Now that's out of the way, I can get to the good stuff: the music. "Fluorescent Youth" is the sophmore full-length of Conditions, and, if you're a fan of acts like Secret And Whisper, Anberlin, perhaps even Saosin, I'd keep reading, as there will no doubt be something for you. Yes, it's of the post-hardcore/alternative sound, so no prizes for guessing what makes it tick. Fast guitar-playing, powerful drumming and a highly impressive vocalist by the name of Brandon Roundtree who constantly demonstrates a wonderful range and delivers choruses that sound utterly anthemic with a youthful urgency and passion that's hard not to love.

For a band that immediately states their intent with the opening song titled "The End of Progression", as they preach "[when] You play it safe, you end progression", there isn't a great degree of ambition as they play it relatively safe for the first half of the album in particular. However, in the very next song, "Better Life", they then claim "Forget what you believe, use what you know". And boy, do they know what works well for them. Despite my slight nit-picking, both songs set the tone for the rest of the album very well - "The End..." being full of adrenaline, as you'd expect from the first song, and "Better Life" being as close to "radio-friendly" as Conditions get. "Natural Competition" is brought to you courtesy of some of the finest work by guitarists Jason Marshall and Alex Howard on offer here - and it's damn fine throughout - while "Keeping Pace With Planes", re-recorded since their last EP, is another notable moment.

The second half, well, track 7 ("...Made Ghosts") onwards, Conditions begin to experiment more, distancing themselves slightly from the alternative/post-hardcore format they've come to play so confidently. Plus, let's face it, no matter well they have it down, eleven tracks of the same old format would begin to tire after a while. The end of this album is enough to lift it out of mere "good" territory. "Comfort Far Away" is by far their biggest song to date; electronics, violins, guitars both acoustic and electric - all bond together to form an atmosphere, led by Roundtree, that's daunting at it's most quiet and simply sweeping at it's most epic. If that slows the pace down, then "Miss America" picks it right back up, as it is Conditions at their most angry, aggressive, furious. Roundtree himself sounds downright pissed off whilst screaming about how beauty in the media is being manipulated, robbed and buried beneath superficiality for a quick buck: "miss America is a slave from the waist down / stealing the whole town's love / and good little girls won't stay away".

"Fluorsecent Youth" is certainly a strong album, brimming with intent, both thematically and musically. 2010 has already seen some strong alternative releases, and now Conditions have added to that list. They want to make a name for themselves, and they surely will with this.


Download: ...Made Ghosts, Comfort Far Away, Miss America, Keeping Pace With Planes
For The Fans of: Secret And Whisper, Anberlin, Saosin, Search The City
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 14.09.2010
Good Fight Music

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