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Sunday 11 December 2022

Sarchasm - Conditional Love


Conditional Love is a farewell third album from one of the best Power Trios around. I am convinced that Sarchasm would get much much more attention if they weren't tarnished by people's unfair and simply wrong generalisations of what Pop Punk is about. The genre is maligned, as is EMO, with a stereotyping sneer by my generation.

Sarchasm are a band that would be lauded as Power Pop sensations if it were not for Mateo Campos-Seligman's vocal had more sweetness. In truth, his vocal is not a million miles away from They Might Be Giants who lately throw out any old rubbish to wide applause.

There are Power Pop indications everywhere here, so lets see if other Reviewers in that field cover it. To me, this is album of the year material and if this is the Bay Area Trio's farewell after two end of year shows, then what a way to go out!

The album is another in the recent examples of lyrical anger and regret being dressed up in feel good instrumentation, this time the format is anthems. The main difference material wise is that this ending takes far more chances than what has gone before. 

I have to single out Serves U Rite as one example of this. In 3 minutes it contains a campfire almost gospel like chorus, a new wave wig out and country yee haw before a ramped up close. Blood Brothers is pure venom in what is close to a Prog vibe instrumentally. You can sense that this is no ordinary listen.

Lorem Ipsum is driving UK Post Punk, Good News is great New Wave Punk and Therapist is a real reminder of how TMBG used to be great. 1227 is a great Indie Rock anthem and Crazy is a potential Power Pop anthem. 

Glass Apartment is a monster of a song, it hooks you in hypnotically. The urgency of Marvin Gardens grips you  and adds a killer chorus. The title track is a fine closing vent at what the Bay Area has become landmark wise in a song that is so 90s TV Sitcom theme.

Then there is the epic Hold Some Space, a splendid opener, with its false endings and mood changes, a real farewell song across 5 minutes. I'm currently compiling the latest IDHAS 10 Song Mix for early next week and I could honestly choose any of these 12 songs, the problem is more choosing one.

Musically, the trio are locked in unison. almost telekinetically. Not a beat is missed. The quality of the songs, the ability to change directions and the pure joy of Conditional Love is a wonder to listen to. Lyrically adept, this is Guitar Pop at its very very best.

You can listen to and buy the album here. All formats are at bargain prices.


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