Review: Against Me! - Total Clarity
Artist/Album: Against Me! - Total Clarity
Release date: 5/23 (CD / vinyl / digital download)
Label: Fat Wreck Chords
This is the second release in Fat Wreck Chords’ Against Me! demo collections. The first was The Original Cowboy a collection of pre-album versions of the tracks originally presented on The Eternal Cowboy. Total Clarity does the same thing with the tracks found on their later album Searching For A Former Clarity. What makes this release so special though is that Clarity is the album that some Against Me! fans started to give them grief over for drifting too far away from their folk punk roots where they originated. Total Clarity being comprised of rough studio cuts should really excite those fans because the recordings are less polished and hark back to a sound that more closely resembles their Reinventing Axl Rose days. Some tracks like “Unprotected Sex With Multiple Partners” are drastically changed, it ditches the catchy hooks of the original and trades in melodies for a more spastic and throaty delivery, not to mention the track is shorter by over a minute. Other songs, “The Shaker” for example, differs very little from its forerunner aside from some subtle tempo changes. There are a few tracks that didn’t make the official album and are definitely worth a listen if you’re an AM! fan. My recommendation is that if you dig the earlier Against Me! records then picking up this is a no brainer, if you love the rock and roll of later recording then this isn’t a necessity for your collection.
Lyric sample: “All’s quiet, except for this song / So maybe while I’m not together I can feel like I’m not alone.”
For fans of: Red City Radio / The Riot Before / Strike Anywhere
Pick it up here.