City Slang: “Wax Ecstatic” revisited

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Despite the fact that Sponge’s debut album, Rotting Pi?ata, featured the monster hits “Plowed” and “Molly”, for my money Vinnie Dombroski and his boys destroyed any notion of a sophomore jinx with the second album, Wax Ecstatic.

This is simply an incredible album. More consistent than its predecessor, the flow of the songs here is perfect. More importantly though, this is a stylish, dark album, sorta like a film noir. The quality of the song writing is still intact. Better even. They just seem classier.

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The record sounds nothing like Lou Reed, but it sounds like Dombroski had been listening to Lou Reed, if that makes sense. Listen to the way the most radio-friendly song on the album, the title track, blends into “The Drag Queens of Memphis”, the closest Sponge will ever get to a jazz song.

Next up is the best song on the record, “I Am Anastasia”, a filthy little gem. The song just builds and builds until Vin explodes all over the mic. The record continues in that vein until the magical “Velveteen” conclusion.

Sometimes, Sponge get a bit of a bad rap. They’re seen as little more than a radio band that happens to be from Detroit. That’s ridiculous. If you want DE-troit filth, raw emotion and some killer musicianship, check out this album.


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