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Rotting Pinata

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Album Review

Most of the members of Sponge had played in straight hard rock bands before group formed. That background is evident throughout Rotting Piñata, the debut from this Detroit-based alternative hard rock band. Sponge's sense of alternative rock goes back as far as Pearl Jam, or maybe only Stone Temple Pilots, judging from the hit single "Plowed." For an STP ripoff band, they're very adept — the chords cluster together, vocalist Vinnie sings directly from his gut, and the whole thing barrels ahead, ignoring whatever's in its way. Even if they have the polished, commercial veneer, they only deliver the songs in spurts. "Plowed" wails mercilessly and "Molly" is a rare contemplative moment, yet most of the disc features half-finished ideas like the monotonous title track.

Customer Reviews

I don't understand... every review from a "critic" seems to accuse this album of being "half-finished" or unfocused when in fact it is (still) a very versatile and refreshing piece of work from a very under-appreciated band. I bought this album when it first came out 10-plus years ago and I STILL listen to it to this day. I happen to enjoy how every song doesn't sound like the one before (Angels & Airwaves...I love you but you're guilty of this...) and I'm not the only person I know who feels this way. If you don't own this album and you appreciate music at its fundamental level (expression without trying to fit into a mold) YOU SHOULD BUY THIS ALBUM. The 30-second samples on here don't do the album justice and like all great works of music the best pieces weren't big-hit singles (I personally love Neenah Menasha and Fields). Buy it; you will NOT be disappointed.

13 Years Later . . .

This is still *fun* to listen to. I was never a raging STP fan, so I was never distracted from the music by the critic's call to look down my nose at this album as a "STP ripoff." Personally, I find the stuff here lively, loud, and sometimes ferocious, and it's still a favorite after all this time.

overlooked, for some reason

to this day i'm glad i still own this album after 15 years or so. Giants and Miles are the only songs i can definitely live without. the band covers the spectrum: hard rock (Pennywheels, Rotting Pinata, Plowed), epic songs with tinges of shoegaze (Neenah Menasha, Candy Corn), straight up pop (Molly) and ballads (Drownin'). all in all, a very well done album.


Formed: 1992 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Sponge was one of the more underrated groups in the post-grunge boom of the mid-'90s. When they were on top of their game -- as evidenced by the hits "Plowed" and "Molly (Sixteen Candles)" -- the band's songs had a knack for jangly riffs and catchy, anthemic hard rock hooks, despite being wrapped in the fuzzy guitars and brooding seriousness that typified grunge music. Sponge grew out of a Detroit-based hard rock act called Loudhouse, which released an album on the Virgin label in 1988 before losing...
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