Sponge were yet another ’90s rock band unfairly lumped into the “alternative” label who really had so much more to offer than so many other bands on the scene. And they were surprisingly heavy too; sure, their biggest hit was the ballad “Molly (Sixteen Candles),” but “Plowed” was one hell of a rocker, as was this track, “Neenah Menashah,” which I didn’t even know had a video until I found it whilst trawling the bowels of YouTube last night (you’ll have to click the link to watch it, since the ass-hats at SonyBMG still don’t get that embeds actually help them sell records). I mean, that riff is heavy, and Vinnie Dombrowski’s vocals are gritty and dirty in a way that most singers from this era weren’t. Vinnie was (and still is) one of a kind on stage as well, and the performance elements of this video further highlight that Sponge was arena-rock through and through in spirit.

After you check out “Neenah Menasha,” here’s the video for “Wax Ecstatic” from their second album of the same name which failed to live up the commercial success (or heaviness) of their debut Rotting Pinata. But this is still a fucking great song.

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Sponge continue to tour the U.S. Midwest frequently, though the only remaining original member is Vinnie. They just released a new record on Bellum Records (purchase at Amazon) and have a few streaming tracks on their MySpace page. The first two tracks “I Wanna Lose” and “Come in From The Rain” are both winners, and I hope they get Sponge the recognition they so deserve.


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