By Gene Axton -

Condition Oakland learns to let go while holding onto what’s important

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    Learn to let go. That’s the prevailing theme of Condition Oakland’s upcoming full-length release, “Burial Ground.”

    “I’d say most of the songs are about letting go of stuff that kind of haunts you, like relationships, places you’ve worked, places you’ve lived, stuff like that,” said CO guitarist/vocalist Tyler Troutman.

    The songs are wrapped in a package Troutman described as “somewhere between bar rock ‘n’ roll, alt country and parts of more melodic punk rock.” That focused, matured sound comes from a proverbial antithesis of the mentality of “Burial Ground” — Troutman found band mates he didn’t want to let go.

    Condition Oakland started out in 2009 as the solo project of the 29-year-old Ashland resident, but quickly became a loose folk punk collective, with Troutman using what he called a “revolving door of backing band musicians” for the first few years of his endeavor. The band lineup solidified around 2014 and released a rerecorded collection of Condition Oakland songs entitled “Nervous Ghost” in 2015.

    “Nervous Ghost” pulled from Troutman’s past, with tracks reminiscent of orchestral anarcho punk acts like Defiance, Ohio and Ghost Mice. The shift in sound found on “Burial Ground” isn’t just a product of a more mature Troutman, it’s an example of what he and his fellow musicians — guitarist Tedd Hazard, bass player Chris Leitzel and drummer Bobby Hunt — can do as a unit.

    Troutman said the band that formed around his solo project comes from a ’90s and early 2000s punk background, culling influence from Fat Wreck Chords and Epitaph groups like Propaghandi and Hot Water Music. That shared musical background set the foundation for the new Condition Oakland and, by extension, “Burial Ground.”

    “Those songs (on ‘Nervous Ghost’) were older and rerecorded,” Troutman said. “These songs, when I brought them to the current band, everybody was kind of starting them from scratch. There were no other preconceptions of how the songs should sound.”

    “Burial Ground” is currently in mixing and mastering, with a projected release date set for Spring 2017. To stay up-to-date with news from the band, including record release date and upcoming live performances, visit or photo
    Guitarist/vocalist Tyler Troutman’s solo project, Condition Oakland, takes next step with full lineup

    By Gene Axton

    Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts

    Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts