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.
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