Sponge - Galore Galore
Record Label: Icon
Release Date: December 4, 2007
Confusion is the best word I can use to describe what I felt when I received Sponge’s Galore Galore from AbsolutePunk.net’s mail lady, Linda. Opening the envelope, I was greeted with album artwork depicting a girl with huge bare breasts (censored by plus signs that each said “Galore”) and a dollar-sign necklace. Great. Cock rock. I had heard of the band prior to requesting the review, but never realized they were that band. You know, the guys who opened for KISS while Scott Weiland was too busy getting high? Yup. They made three records between then & now. Who knew?!
Sponge tout themselves as “Detroit’s hardest working band” on their website, and this could apply to something else they work hard at, but I’m guessing they mean at making music. Galore Galore falls short of these accolades, with the vocals straight out of a Nickelback song, and lyrics that sound like a frat boy’s poor attempt at a sincere journal entry. The album is a far cry from their days as a post-grunge band with hits like “Molly (Sixteen Candles).” Where “Molly” went right was that the rough vocal was aided by catchy lyrics and rhythm. Rather than copy this technique in hopes of giving a new generation their own Sponge hit, the guys have gone full-out Metallica on us, with tracks like “Diggin’ My Own Grave” and “Did It Without The Drugs.”
I could point out the highlights, but I’ll point out the low-lights and hope that I don’t get a beating by these dudes, because I’m sure they could kick my ass. “Did It Without The Drugs” is easily the best and worst track on the album. It begins with a female choir and dialogue between vocalist Vinnie Dombroski and some chick from the past who basically wants to know when they're going to be getting high again. Now don’t get me wrong: I’m elated when anybody can battle their demons, including drug addictions. But if “Molly” is what Sponge can do high, and this is what they can do sober... maybe a new career path is in order for the guys.
Sure, it doesn’t help that the entire line-up has been changed except Dombroski. Maybe this was a natural progression for them, and “Molly” was a 90's fluke, but nothing is working for them on this album. The production quality, the lyrics, the vocals, and the music itself all feel forced and dull, like Sponge themselves know they’re trying to squeeze themselves into the box on Amazon that recommends them if you like Stone Temple Pilots. Until they succeed in actually sounding like Stone Temple Pilots, I will most likely be using this CD as a coaster for my can of Natty Ice during the upcoming Nascar race.