Sponge
Rotting Pinata


4.0
excellent

Review

by BigHans USER (108 Reviews)
October 20th, 2009 | 34 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A highly underrated and standout Alternative album.

The debut album from Sponge, while largely forgotten now, for me captures a nostalgic moment in time when Alternative rock and its several forgettable and fewer memorable acts owned the airwaves. By late 1994 Grunge as a dominant mainstream genre was starting to slide. With the death of Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder turning himself into a pretentious “artist” instead of a rock musician, and Layne Staley slipping further into a crushing drug addiction, the door was open for a new breed of post-grunge radio friendly bands to spring out of nowhere, delivering hit singles and selling more albums than they should have. For the most part, most of these albums from the likes or Bush, Better than Ezra, Toad the Wet Sprocket, the Refreshments, Nada Surf, Candlebox, Space Hog, etc carried two stellar tracks, tops, and a great deal of sometimes unlistenable filler.

Rotting Pinata is an exception.

While this record is certainly not the greatest offering of this era or genre, it is severely underrated. Although Sponge enjoyed a moderate amount of success from this album, they quickly faded and sadly never came close to delivering anything comparable.

Rotting Pinata opens on a weak note, with the plodding “Pennywheels” representing the worst song on the album. For a first time listener, this would not exactly entice one to listen further. Luckily, the next offering, the title track, explodes with a furious jangly intro and continues into one of the catchiest songs I have ever heard.

I am curious as to who decided the track order, as the next two songs “Giants” and “Neenah Menasha” are decidedly average and are two of the weaker tracks on the album. By now a first time listener may be ready to move on to something else. “Miles” is an improvement, with an infectious verse and above average chorus. This is a small point of redemption, and represents the turning point and catapults the listener into an entirely new experience.

The meat of the record is the latter half, with the 3 singles released all represented here. The most well known, “Plowed,” is a soaring rock anthem that is impossible to forget. From the catchy opener to the simplistic but huge chorus, “Plowed” is Sponge’s signature song for good reason. “Molly” was a moderately successful radio hit, and oozes pop while sarcastically paying tribute to 80’s actress Molly Ringwald. “Drownin’” and “Fields” are stellar slow tempo songs, the latter being the superior offering. “Fields” may actually be my favorite song on the disc, with a glorious “save me from myself” chant in the chorus. The album closes with “Rainin,” the final single and a ballad that begins slowly and builds up to a cataclysmic ending that brings a strong close to the record.

To conclude, Sponge didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but they released one of the strongest offerings of the post grunge/alternative genre. Although this era is mostly forgotten now (mostly for good reason), this is a gem that stands out amongst the crowd and still plays strong today. Aside from arguably 3 filler tracks, the rest of the album is stellar and worth ownership.

Standout Tracks:

Plowed
Molly
Fields
Rotting Pinata
Rainin’
Miles



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user ratings (32)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
BigHans
October 20th 2009


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wondering where the album artwork and track listing are located.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2009


17224 Comments


It seems that you created a new spot for this. Ask the mods in the forums to merge it with the other entry for Rotting Pinata. oh yeah Plowed is one of the greatest songs of the 90s.

fireaboveicebelow
October 20th 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

same with pennywheels

WatchItExplode
October 20th 2009


3276 Comments


calling these folks a second tier grunge band is generous...plowed does rule though

Digging: Giant Squid - Minoans

Willie
Moderator
October 21st 2009


16073 Comments


Plowed is an awesome song, but the rest of this album is bad.

accompliceofmydeath
October 21st 2009


4267 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I used to dig this album pretty hard back in the day. Looks like it's time to dig it out again.

Digging: New Found Glory - Resurrection

The Sludge
October 21st 2009


2169 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I forgot how much I loved this album. Thanks.

BigHans
May 21st 2010


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I might have to rewrite this, because the quality of this review is laughable.

TheNewWhack
May 21st 2010


1472 Comments


Stoked to see a review for this, Hans. Pos'd.

BigHans
May 21st 2010


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was my second review I think, Im almost embarrassed its still up because its probably my worst written review. Great album still.

NodScene23
June 14th 2011


270 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album.

jmorris724
June 18th 2011


44 Comments


this is a classic. not sure what to rate it, though. somewhere between 3.5-5.

jmorris724
June 18th 2011


44 Comments


my one complain with this record would be they put a different version of "Molly" on here than what was on the radio. An easy fix, of course. Download the single version and you're done.

BTW, since when is ToadTWS nothing but filler? Come now.

BigHans
January 31st 2014


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so since we're post grunging it today

Plowed best song ever amirite

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2014


8012 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

PLOWED BEST SONG EVER AGREED

BigHans
January 31st 2014


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah man. Title track on this goes really hard too

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2014


8012 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

His wailing of Rotting Pinata is one of the best moments in song

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
January 31st 2014


13383 Comments


who are these guys

Digging: The Smith Street Band - Throw Me In The River

BigHans
January 31st 2014


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE

LIES

THE JUNK THAT WAS ME

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
January 31st 2014


13383 Comments


did they have a hit



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