Under the Weather

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Formerly known as the Sloppy Meateaters, Under the Weather is an alternative pop/rock outfit along the lines of blink-182, Fenix TX, and Green Day. Officially, the name Sloppy Meateaters was put to rest…
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Formerly known as the Sloppy Meateaters, Under the Weather is an alternative pop/rock outfit along the lines of blink-182, Fenix TX, and Green Day. Officially, the name Sloppy Meateaters was put to rest in 2002, when lead singer Josh Chambers, aka Sloppy Josh, started calling his Rome, GA-based group Under the Weather. But the Sloppy Meateaters and Under the Weather are essentially the same band -- and even though the latter's work has been more polished and, at times, slightly heavier, Under the Weather hasn't been a radical departure from the Meateaters. The band has continued to favor the blend of punk-pop energy and confessional, introspective lyrics that emo (or emocore) is known for.

The original Sloppy Meateaters lineup goes back to June 1999, when Chambers hooked up with drummer Kevin Highfield, aka Sloppy Kevin. At first, Chambers and Highfield played together as a duo; with Chambers on lead vocals, guitar, and bass and Highfield on drums, the Sloppy Meateaters recorded their debut album, Shameless Self-Promotion, in October 1999. The group didn't have a full-time bassist until Travis Gerke, aka Sloppy Travis, came on board in 2000; Gerke, who played live with the the Meateaters but never actually recorded with the band, was later replaced by John Elwell, aka Sloppy John. During the winter of 2000/2001, the Chambers/Highfield/Elwell lineup recorded the second Sloppy Meateaters album, Forbidden Meat, for California's independent Orange Peal label (which had re-released Shameless Self-Promotion and given the disc better distribution). Orange Peal released Forbidden Meat in June 2001, and that CD turned out to be their final recording as the Sloppy Meateaters.

In 2002, Highfield announced that he was leaving. After Highfield's departure, the band no longer felt like the Sloppy Meateaters to Chambers -- so Chambers decided to assemble a new lineup and call it Under the Weather, but the band's contract with Orange Peal remained. Chambers, opting to market Under the Weather as a new band, continued to sing lead and play rhythm guitar; Elwell switched to lead guitar and drums, while Chicago native Will Tallman was hired to play bass and provide background vocals. In November 2002, Under the Weather began recording a self-titled EP for Orange Peal, which released the six-song disc in 2003. Touring drummer Lee Howell also joined on. By summer 2004, the Sloppy Meateaters had re-formed and Under the Weather retired.