With their second album, Sponge returned to the '70s hard rock roots they had only hinted at on their alterna-metal debut, Rotting Pinata. Before Rotting Pinata, the group had slogged it out on the Detroit hard rock circuit under a variety of names, honing their chops and developing their skills. They managed to have a moderate hit with Rotting Pinata, which sounded exactly like it was recorded in Seattle. That hit allowed the band to expand their horizons with their second album, Wax Ecstatic. In order to grow, the group went back to their beginnings, touching on glam-rock, arena rock, blues-rock, and jangle-pop. Although it reveals Rotting Pinata to be somewhat calculating in its approach, Wax Ecstatic, ironically, is a far superior album. Simply put, Sponge sounds more comfortable on this terrain. They can spin out fuzzy hooks like those that populate the title track with ease, and they can craft hummable tunes like "I Am Anastasia" with equal aplomb. Wax Ecstatic is a more focused, more determined and all around more successful record than its predecessor.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine