The first recording issued from ex-Soundgarden members after their April '97 breakup is a bit of a surprise. Shedding their ex-band's sludge-metal sound, Matt Cameron (drums) and Ben Shepherd (vocals) explore 60's garage rock sounds (the Who, the Ventures, etc.), and add some hallucinogenic elements as well (late Beatles, Pink Floyd w/ Syd Barrett). Ex-Monster Magnet member John Paul McBain rounds out the group (on guitar & bass), and proves to be well-versed in achieving interesting, classic sounds from inexpensive home-recording equipment. Declaration of Conformity is Ben Shepherd's debut as lead vocalist of a group (he played bass in Soundgarden), and his high-pitched voice fits this unusual retro music perfectly. "Sandy," "Far Side of Your Moon," and "Nati Bati Yi" explore surf music, while "Enebrio" and "Space Travel In A Blink of An Eye" are influenced by early Pink Floyd (they even cover Syd Barrett's "Lucy Leave" on the album). Other highlights include the spooky "Green Undertow," and the strutting "Trowerchord." Fans of the Wellwater Conspiracy should also check out their precursor group, Hater, which released an album on A&M back in 1993 (and featured two other members).
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato