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Sponge

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Biography

With their versatile blend of classic hard rock and punchy alt-pop with a thin metal veneer, Motor City rockers Sponge caught fire during the post-grunge boom of the mid-'90s via modern rock radio hits like "Plowed" and "Molly (Sixteen Candles)." Despite being wrapped in the fuzzy guitars and brooding intensity that typified grunge music, the band had a knack for jangly riffs and catchy, anthemic hard rock hooks. Sponge hit their commercial peak in 1996 with the release of their sophomore effort, Wax Ecstatic which, like their 1994 debut Rotting Pinata, went gold. While the band's popularity waned in the 2000s, they continued to forge ahead via hard-hitting late career efforts like Galore Galore and Stop the Bleeding. While their sound remained steeped in classic and alternative rock, they did begin to incorporate more pop elements with the release of 1999's New Pop Sunday. Their sonic attack remained largely uniform, but founder and frontman Vinnie Dombrowski would serve as Sponge's sole constant member throughout their tenure. Sponge grew out of a Detroit-based hard rock act called Loudhouse, which released an album on the Virgin label in 1988 before losing its record contract and disbanding shortly thereafter. Drummer-turned-vocalist Vinnie Dombrowski (born Mark Dombrowski) and guitarists Mike Cross and Joey Mazzola regrouped as Sponge in 1992, adding Mike's brother Tim Cross on bass and Jimmy Paluzzi on drums. Adapting their '70s hard rock influences to fit the grunge zeitgeist, the bandmates earned a major-label deal with Columbia and released their debut album, Rotting Pinata, in late 1994. Initially, critics compared Sponge to Stone Temple Pilots, but alternative radio embraced the band's first two singles: the driving rocker "Plowed" and the jangly, introspective "Molly (Sixteen Candles)." A third single, "Rainin'," also earned airplay, and Rotting Pinata went gold; meanwhile, Sponge went on tour as Live's opening act. With new drummer Charlie Grover in tow, their 1996 follow-up album, Wax Ecstatic, was a more diverse affair, rediscovering some of the band's roots in arena rock, British glam, and jangle pop. Even though singles like "Wax Ecstatic (To Sell Angelina)," "I Am Anastasia," and "Have You Seen Mary" enjoyed radio airplay, Columbia was dissatisfied with the sales figures and dropped Sponge once the album left the charts. Undaunted, Sponge signed a new deal with the Beyond label, which released the more classicist New Pop Sunday in 1999. It attracted little commercial attention, and more personnel shifts ensued. Tired of touring, the Cross brothers both left and were replaced by guitarist Kurt Marschke and bassist Tim Krukowski; Billy Adams also came on board as the new drummer. After several years of recharging -- during which time Dombrowski played in several Detroit-area side projects -- Sponge returned with For All the Drugs in the World in 2003 and The Man in 2005. Dombrowski reworked the lineup once again, this time adding guitarists Kyle Neely and Andy Patalan, before returning again to the studio in 2007 to record Galore Galore for Bellum Records. Two years later, there was another lineup shift -- Tim Patalan became the group's bassist -- and they released an EP called Destroy the Boy. A full-length called Stop the Bleeding arrived four years later via Three One Three Records; the LP contained all of the 2009 EP plus new songs, including a twisted cover of Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle." In 2017, the band partnered with Michigan Brewers and PledgeMusic for their eighth full-length outing, The Beer Sessions, which Dombrowski called "a celebration of independent music and incredible Michigan beer." ~ Steve Huey
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Plowed
  3.   Molly (Sixteen Candles)
  4.   The Death of a Drag Queen
  5.   Come in from the Rain
  6.   I Did It Without the Drugs
  7.   Dandelions Roar
  8.   Through the Hard Times (Before the End)
  9.   Velveteen
  10.   I Wanna Lose
  11.   Dig My Own Grave
  12.   No DOA on Sunday
  13.   Pennywheels
  14.   Someone to Talk To
  15.   What Are Good Friends For
  16.   Fell in Deep
  17.   Wake Up
  18.   Lead
  19.   Jump While the House Is on Fire
  20.   Star
  21.   Lackluster Love
  22.   Hard to Keep My Cool
  23.   Time Bomb USA
  24.   Wasted
  25.   Skill of the Kill
  26.   Flop
  27.   Party Till We Drop
  28.   All the Drugs in the World
  29.   Back Against the Wall
  30.   Glue
  31.   Fame and Glory
  32.   The Man
  33.   Molly (16 Candles Down the Drain)
  34.   Suicide Away
  35.   Punch in the Nose
  36.   Unpopular Girl
  37.   28 Days
  38.   Burn
  39.   Treat Me Wrong
  40.   Have You Seen Mary
  41.   Silence Is Their Drug
  42.   Wax Ecstatic (To Sell Angelina)
  43.   My Purity
  44.   Go, Speed Racer, Go! by Disney
  45.   Rainin'
  46.   Fields
  47.   Drownin'
  48.   Rotting Piñata
  49.   Giants
  50.   Neenah Menasha
  51.   My Generation
  52.   Turn to Shit
  53.   2 X 4
  54.   Ugly on the Inside
  55.   Walk in My Shoes
  56.   Once in a Blue Moon
  57.   What Were You Doing Outside If You Didn't Like the Rain
  58.   Miles
  59.   Turn out the Lights
  60.   Love's a Killer
  61.   Great Big Flop
  62.   Falling for the Girls
  63.   Stormens Öga
  64.   Broken
  65.   The Whores Are Closing In
  66.   Sick of It All
  67.   Alcohol and Speed
  68.   Life's Bitter Pills
  69.   Dance Floor
  70.   [Untitled]
  71.   Shittier Day Than Me
  72.   Higher, Pt. 2
  73.   Unlucky
  74.   Higher, Pt. 1
  75.   Lucifer in Las Vegas
  76.   Love & Roses
  77.   Talk to You
  78.   All This and Nothing
  79.   I Am Anastasia
  80.   Break on Through
  81.   Get Down and Assume the Position
  82.   How Much Do You Think of Love
  83.   My Baby Said
  84.   Fight Your Way Outta the Room
  85.   Fed to the Dogs
  86.   Screamin Scott Intro
  87.   Time in a Bottle
  88.   Before the End
  89.   Lose Yourself
  90.   Born to Be Wild
  91.   Imagine You
  92.   Sanitarium
  93.   Got to Be a Bore
  94.   Dead and Buried
  95.   Fade from View
  96.   Dare to Breathe
  97.   Destroy the Boy
  98.   The Drag Queens of Memphis
  99.   Leave This World
  100.   Song for the End of the World
  101.   Candy Corn
  102.   Laughing at Me
  103.   Feels Like Love
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