Back in the '70s and '80s, many of the popular arena rock, pop-metal, and fantasy metal artists projected larger than life images -- teenagers and twentysomethings turned to Kiss and similar bands for fantasy, glamour, and escape, not a big dose of reality. But the emocore field of the '90s and 2000s is a totally different ball game. In terms of lyrics and image, an emo band like the Sloppy Meateaters is the exact opposite of the cartoonish, larger-than-life figures who were a big part of so much '70s and '80s rock -- in fact, they wear their vulnerability and insecurity like a badge of honor on their second album, Forbidden Meat. Angst-ridden yet humorous and even charming, this CD is decidedly reality-oriented rather than fantasy-oriented. To borrow a phrase from the hip-hop world, Forbidden Meat is keepin' it real. The Sloppy Meateaters don't write about driving Mercedes Benzes around Beverly Hills or sleeping with supermodels; instead, they find many amusing and clever ways to tell you how disappointing their young lives can be. When Forbidden Meat was released in 2001, the Sloppy Meateaters were hardly the only emo/punk-pop artists who went around telling listeners that life's a bitch -- emo was an extremely crowded field in the early 2000s, and there were plenty of mundane, pedestrian bands doing lame imitations of blink-182 or Green Day. But Forbidden Meat is nothing to be ashamed of. While this CD wasn't a multi-platinum blockbuster, the Sloppy Meateaters can take pride in the fact that Forbidden Meat is funnier, more clever, and more memorable than what much of the competition had to offer in 2001.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson