The Band You Might Not Know But Probably Should: This Condition
Flashback: freshman year, New Student Orientation (for those Seniors out there, take this article as a smack of nostalgia right in the face as you grace Bucknell with your presence these last couple weeks). Let me test your hippocampuses a little more, here: Old Bison Street Festival. For those who need a little help re-imagining this one, remember that festival with chocolate-covered rice krispies, hot pretzels, other various food stations, and a band? Great. Well, this past year the Class of 2016 was given the chance to witness pop-punk band This Condition perform on 7th Street during Orientation. The year before that, This Condition “headlined” at the McDonnell Amphitheater the same night of the Old Bison Street Festival. That was the very first time I had ever even heard of the band, to be honest. I can still vividly remember jumping around in front of their mobile stage outside of McDonnell, my second night at Bucknell, screaming the lyrics to their unmistakably catchy choruses. Better yet, they concluded with an incredible cover of an old Third Eye Blind song, “Never Let You Go,” and let ME sing the last rap at the end of the song. (This happens to be one of my fondest Bucknell memories, to-date). Nevertheless, This Condition is a refreshingly unique pop-punk rock band that will really catch your ear!
For those at Bucknell who might be unfamiliar with the new millennium pop-punk scene, now’s the time for you to catch up. Please. Or maybe re-attend junior high again, because you missed out on something awesome, I promise. Anyway, at the turn of the 20th century, awful pop music was running rampant throughout our society. Now! That’s What I Call Music compilation CDs single-handedly decided what was “good” and “cool” to listen to, creating a music culture defined by a repetitive song structure and unoriginal music tones. Take it back a decade or so: everyone remembers all those old-school “classic” punk bands. I’m talking Anti-Flag, Rancid, Pennywise (hopefully you’re on my page, still). They were incredible to listen to—in the late nineties. Then our generation took over the receiving end of radios and consumer-markets and a demand for something lighter on the ears and slower paced developed. Enter the pop-punk scene. A hybrid of the bland music Now! CDs were pumping into our ears and the rough-around-the-edges nu-punk scene, pop-punk emerged full-force with bands such as Blink-182, Fall Out Boy, and Green Day.
Following the delayed success of such bands, pop-punk flooded the music industries. New labels emerged devoted to finding the perfect blend of catchy hooks, powerful lyrics, and pants-dropping tones. Unfortunately, probably like 95% of these hopeful bands failed. Miserably. It was a tough genre (and still is) to make a lasting impact in because of its overly generic sound patterns, so only the most original bands broke through.
This is where This Condition stands. Right on the brink of sub-level stardom, with enough talent to become huge, but lacking the necessary publicity. Having now seen This Condition perform twice, I can provide a personal testament to their dominating live energy and unmistakably catchy sound. These guys destroy a live show, with a perfect amount of repetition in their songs to have you singing along by the second chorus, as if you’ve known them for years. Along with that, they are the chilliest dudes you’ll ever meet. I went up to talk with lead singer, Nathan, and the guys after their show on 7th Street this past year and they remembered me as “the dude who helped us sing Third Eye Blind last year!” with warming enthusiasm. It’s highly doubtful that Wiz Khalifa will recall the fan who “passed him a J” during his performance here at Bucknell.
And it’s not just their live sound which has me hooked, either. They just released their third EP, Sessions EP (which you can listen to and purchase, here), and are still killing it. Ever since I started attending college and became eternally broke, I largely stopped promoting bands. The night after I first listened to This Condition, I went online and bought their two published EPs and both t-shirts they had available for purchase. Check out this exclusiveCampus Vinyl BucknellU Spotify Playlist, which includes some of their most memorable songs and some of my personal favorites.
Here’s the video for their new track, Money, off of the Sessions EP.
Unfortunately for all of us, This Condition has declared their termination in the recent months (sorry for stringing you all along for so long before telling you the bad news). However, it’d mean a ton to them, and maybe even more to me, if you could go check them out, and maybe add some of their songs to a playlist or two. Their discography is remarkably impressive, and any time I come back to one of their songs, I’ll always be reminded of some of the best experiences I’ve had here at Bucknell.
Here are some awesome covers they’ve done and posted on their Youtube channel!
^I Try (originally by Macy Gray)
^My Body (originally by Young the Giant)