With the release of their second full-length As the Eternal Cowboy, AGAINST ME! had firmly established themselves as a genre defying success. The band was drawing praise from seemingly every corner of the industry and with mention of a third album in the works, fans, tastemakers, critics, and just about anyone else loosely affiliated with music were all champing at the bit to get their hands on the new material. As it happens, the building wall of anticipatory pressure proved too great a force and eventually a handful of demos from the upcoming album, Search ing For a Former Clarity, were stolen/leaked to the public.
The initial response to the songs was unanimously positive. It started a firestorm of chatter that rapidly spread from the lucky few that heard the stolen demos to the pining masses who hadn’t. Eventually Searching For a Former Clarity was released and more than satisfied all curiosity and expectation. Yet, even years later, in the wake of the album’s massive success the leaked demos continue to be the subject of so much rumor and speculation that they’ve taken on a Yeti-esque quality. Everyone seems to know a friend’s coworker’s cousin who has allegedly heard the demos and invariably claims that the original incarnations of the songs are better than the acclaimed versions that ended up on the final album.
Finally, with the release of Total Clarity, everyone will have the chance to peek behind the curtain, as it were, and judge for themselves. That’s right, not only did AGAINST ME! decide to officially release the legendarily leaked tracks, they added a bunch more never before heard recordings from the very same demo session. In addition, among the 15 selections that comprise Total Clarity, there are 3 songs that were never rerecorded for the Searching For a Former Clarity album. Sonically Total Clarity offers a gritty simplicity that reconciles the songs to the passionate essence AGAINST ME! is loved for. Considering the 6 years of mammoth anticipation and speculation about these recordings and the band’s ever increasing popularity, the acclaim of Total Clarity is a foregone conclusion.