Alternative Rock

Sponge Rotting Piñata

1994 was a big year for rock - Weezer, Our Lady Peace, Cake, Ben Harper, and Powerman 5000. And so it was that Detroit's Sponge delivered us their debut album, Rotting Piñata. 1994 also produced Oasis and Korn, but I could care less about either of those two bands.

Sponge Rotting Piñata album cover
Rotting Piñata


Plowed crushed, Molly drugged, and Rainin ... rained? Sponge's debut album Rotting Piñata is halfway decent rock.

If you are going to judge Rotting Piñata against their 1996 follow-up Wax Ecstatic, you would pretty much call it equal, giving the tiebreaker to the higher heights of Plowed, Molly, and Rainin vs Wax Ecstatic and Have You Seen Mary.

Such is the way with Sponge.

Rotting Piñata notes

Rotting Piñata introduces us to the world of human wreckage that is Plowed!


What sounds like a plucked stand-up bass, but maybe a riff played on a baritone guitar ... an ocean wave ... some acoustic guitars. Pennywheels starts the album by letting the listener warm up to the band before the whole band jumps in.

Rotting Piñata

Super upbeat riff, hi hat, feedback, some small talk, drums kick on, rhythm guitar, yeaaaaaah

Awesome buildup in the intro.


The guitar solo is constructed into 3 distinct playing parts.


Sponge writes music that could be set in post apocalyptic society.

A pretty bitchin' solo here that feels split by Mazzola and Cross.

Neenah Menasha

Sponge loves feedback driven openings. Tim Cross and Jimmy Paluzzi lay a good foundation for Neenah Menasha.


Much like the DeLeo brothers in STP, the Cross brothers of Sponge helped brand their band with specific sound. No one sounded like STP and to a large extent, no one sounded like Sponge.

The Cross brothers and Mazzola weave complementary notes across the verse of Miles.

Miles to go before I sleep!


The hit!

Feedback opening. Huge and memorable mid 90s guitar riff. Band kicks in. Lead singer Vinnie Dombroski comes to life.

Say a prayer for me!

Plowed does the masterful job of being bad ass without selling its musical soul.

Plain and simple, Sponge wrote an awesome hit wit Plowed.


Sponge writes with a diversification in instrumentation that you would never see in a band like Green Day. Just the track before (Plowed) you saw them shake the earth. With Drowin', they eventually turn on the amps, but the core of the song is an acoustic ballad that could have been country without the Boss DS-1's engaged.

Lyrically, Sponge isn't afraid to share their feelings. They aren't even being subtle with the main line of "I'm not happy anymore ... yeah I'm drownin"


The story of a girl who was spurned by an older man (her teacher). My have the times changed in the 90s. In the 80s, this song was Seventeen and written about the older guy getting the younger girl.


If you didn't know what fields were for, they are for Angels.

Clean electric strummed riff.


Drownin was one thing, but Rainin confirms that no one in Sponge likes the letter G.

Candy Corn

"Candy Corn" is a hidden track at the 7:03 mark in Track 10 - Rainin.

Guitar work that sounds a bit like seagulls, but not that much. Sponge is from Detroit, so we can forgive them this.

The album cover was filled with them (candy corns). Interesting choice.

Candy Corn the song sounds like a jammed out extension of Rainin where producer Tim Patalan just left the tape on while he stepped out for a smoke.

I guess Sponge just wasn't ready for their debut album to end.

More Rotting Piñata Details

Rotting Piñata Info
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