I’ll never forget the first time I heard the song “Plowed” by Sponge. I was a kid maybe 10 or 11 and I was watching Empire Records and towards the end of the movie, when they are getting ready for “the get together” to save the store, this song was played. I loved it instantly. What a great use of the song in that scene. Interestingly, the song isn’t included on the soundtrack. That’s something that’s always bugged me. Plowed is also such a quintessential 90’s song that, it has to be included in this topic. The album that “Plowed” is on, Rotting Pinata is a terrific album from start to finish. If you’ve never heard it, you should!
There is something that a lot of bands and musicians “feel” that a lot of people just don’t get. It’s a sensation or a feeling that compels you to keep at it and the creative drive that pushes you to still perform and release new music. This topic is here to highlight the bands that still have that feeling pumping through their veins, and Sponge is a great example of just that.
Sponge was formed in 1991, in Detroit, Michigan by singer Vinnie Dombroski, Mike Cross, Tim Cross, and Joey Mazzola. They released their debut album Rotting Pinata in 1994, which was a big success selling over 500,000 copies. You probably remember hearing the song “Plowed” all over radio and in the cult classic Empire Records. As well as the song “Molly (Sixteen Candles).” Their follow up album Wax Ecstatic, was a bit of a departure from their debut but, it really showed the songwriting abilities of the band. The song ” Have You Seen Mary” was included in the film Chasing Amy. Their next album New Pop Sunday was released in 1999, on an independent label but didn’t get a lot of attention. This would also be the last album to feature the original lineup. Vinnie Dombroski would continue to steer the ship after that album. Sponge would go on to release 5 more albums with different lineups. Their most recent album The Beer Sessions, was released in 2016.
Sponge though, is still out there on the road and rocking audiences. Sure there are people that are there to just hear the “classics” from Rotting Pinata and Wax Ecstatic but, the other songs they have in the setlist are quite rocking. You can tell from watching video of their live shows over the years, that the drive and passion is still in there. It’s quite refreshing to see bands and their members (even if it’s not the original members) still out there doing it for the love of the music and for the fans. Sure the venues might not be quite as big as they once were but, the love and desire is still huge and that’s what creates longevity. Cheers to Sponge for not giving up and still fighting the good fight!