Although initially written off as merely Pearl Jam rip-offs, Stone Temple Pilots certainly spawned their share of imitators, as countless STP-influenced outfits sprung up on the scene during the mid- to late '90s. Sponge could easily be classified as one such band, especially with their 1995 hit release Rotting Pinata, which spawned such MTV/rock radio favorites as "Plowed" and "Molly (Sixteen Candles)." After taking a break during the early part of the early 21st century, Sponge returned with a vengeance -- releasing two albums in a three-year span, 2003's For All the Drugs in the World and 2005's The Man. The latter release sees longtime Sponge leader/vocalist Vinnie Dombrowski assume full control, as he also serves as the album's producer. The end result is an album not unlike what you'd expect from Sponge -- melodic hard rockin' tunes (the album opening title track, "Sh*ttier Day Than Me") broken up with bits of tranquility ("Unlucky" and "All the Drugs in the World"). The Man is certainly not going to be mistaken for a groundbreaking rock record any time soon, but for longtime Sponge fans, Dombrowski has done an admirable job keeping the band on the same sonic course as their previous releases.
The Man Review
by Greg Prato