"A Letter To Friends" CD (No Idea)
I was first introduced to Clairmel through the HWM split; Hot Water Music always kicks my ass. Clairmel quickly set about doing the same thing. I won't pretend to tell you that this is unique; if you're a fan of Gainesville punk rock, you have likely heard this or something very like it before (likewise, I won't claim that Clairmel is from Gainesville; I honestly don't know where they're from). The difference between this collection of previously unreleased tracks and most of the shit (and I do mean shit) that I review is that whereas most of the shit is impassioned with little to no effect because it sounds like a bunch of art students in the middle of nowhere trying to create something to further ostracize themselves from their surroundings, this sounds like impassioned people trying to connect with their surroundings. To put it a different way, a lot of the albums I get sound like they were made by outcasts in high school who decided to intentionally be weirder so that could pretend to be cool; this album, in the analogy, would have been made by the people who simply didn't give a shit about cliques or trends and wanted to sit in their garage and make music that they and their friends could enjoy, music that would provide a sanctuary and a place where bonds between people could strengthen, if only for a little while. I freely admit that I was biased in favor of Clairmel when I got this; I'm more biased in their favor now.