For All the Drugs in the World

by: Sponge

Despite the terrible band and album names, Sponge's For All the Drugs in the World is a propulsive collection of contagious rock that ranges from glam to folky emo. Bowie it's not, but "Treat Me Wrong" is an instant singalong -- like Pulp and especially Spacehog, Sponge have a real knack for glammy hooks. Occasionally, like on "Leave This World," the group errs on the side of U2 circa Pop, and the peculiarly religious folk number "Burn" is more Goo Goo Dolls than Hunky Dory. Maybe that's Sponge's problem on this record -- their propensity to hopscotch through genres. A little more continuity would be nice. For every great song (for example, the Interpol-esque "Unpopular Girl" or the psych-tinged "Dandelions Roar") there's one that's uninspired (the borrowed-from-Nirvana "Talk to You"). Sponge are a band that, despite the Stone Temple Pilots comparisons, really show a lot of potential to be a big, loud, arena-ready rock band -- they even did it on their second album. But For All the Drugs in the World, while not without its high points, is as confused as the group's debut, at a time when they should be consolidating and exploring their strength: '70s hard rock. ~ Charles Spano

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