Stop the Bleeding • Sponge • The End Records • Producers: Tim Patalan, Vinnie Dombroski • Score: 8 out of 10
On this, their seventh studio release, the Motor City outfit prove they are as inventive and creatively vibrant as in their mid-‘90s heyday. The acoustic-fueled power ballad “Star” kicks things off as frontman Vinnie Dombroski takes the reins. “Destroy the Boy” follows and recalls some of the band’s earlier hits, but mines a deeper, more sophisticated well of rich and complex harmonies. Perhaps the biggest departure here is their industrial Reznor-like take on Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle.” It is a bold move that unquestionably catapults the ‘70s soft rock classic into another dimension.
– Eric A. Harabadian