Sarchasm Released Conditional Love LP

Photo by Jonathan Botkin

archasm’s final album, Conditional Love, is now available via Asian Man Records, marking the end of a 12-year journey for the indie-punk trio. It’s a powerful sendoff that crackles with pop-punk energy and giddy experimentation. Though the band is parting ways, their final album proves that their collective creativity and passion never diminished.

Conditional Love is the band’s third full-length release on Asian Man Records, diving headfirst into themes of mental health, saying goodbye, and getting older. Sarchasm truly has grown up together; The group formed in October 2010 when 13-year-old Alex Botkin joined forces with siblings Mateo (15) and Stevie (11) Campos-Seligman, thanks to a Craigslist ad posted by Alex’s mom. Since then, they’ve become a fixture in the East Bay music scene, known for their energetic live shows and work at 924 Gillman. All the while, they’ve continued to grow musically – and Conditional Love is no exception.

“It’s not like Frank Zappa kind of stuff, but we’re going outside the boundaries of what a typical kind of pop-punk band from the Bay Area who has the Lookout history looming over them might sound like.” Alex says. “Where can we go from here now in our own right, and not just be Green Day and not just be Operation Ivy or bands like that?”

That urge to push genre convention is evident from the album’s opening moments right through to the end. The first track, the anthemic “Hold Some Space,” has an eyebrow-raising runtime of more than five minutes – an entire Side A for some punk contemporaries. It leads into a block of songs that explore mental health from a variety of perspectives, including a rarely articulated point of loving frustration. It’s an album filled with unexpected flourishes, including synth solos, that add depth and fun to the melodies without veering into self-indulgence. 

Sarchasm knew that this would be their final album before recording started, and there are references to their shared history throughout Conditional Love‘s 12 tracks. Some, like “Hold Some Space,” were created from musical fragments that had been kicking around for five or six years. Others, like “1227,” look back at the past with equal parts melancholy and gratitude. “Sitting on the couch while the rain comes down, reflecting on the past twelve years / As painful as it is to let the things you love go, I’m proud of who we all grew up to be,” Mateo sings, voice wavering through a smile.

Conditional Love is now available digitally on Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music, and other major streaming platforms, on vinyl/CD via Asian Man Records, and on cassette via No Time Records.





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