First off, I’d like to note that I do not need a band called Sloppy Meateaters telling me about the “web of possibilities” and how there is “no absolute reality.” This is what they have drum circles for. So, onward. From the band name and a look at the insert’s multiple band photos, I’d swear these kids weren’t out of high school. But said insert also notes that one of the dudes is twenty-five, so my theory’s blown. But listening to the record, you’d swear that these kids were still waiting for someone to ask them to Sadie Hawkins: they sound like that one band that every post-Nirvana high school had. The one that was made up of guys who were all insanely talented musicians, who rocked their high school talent show hard, guys who wore different colored socks as a way to set themselves apart and listened to Armenian polka 78s as much as they listened to Bad Religion. Conditioned by the Laugh Track is peppered throughout with that kind of inherent schizophrenia. You’ve got your very occasional “punky” moments, your “grunge” moments, your vaguely “indie” moments, and your ballads. Like I said, they essentially seem like a young and talented rock band that’s trying to encompass too much; their feet are walking down a lot of different sonic avenues here. The result is a record that has its occasional moments but carries no real urgency or coherency.
–keith (Orange Peal)