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Stop the Bleeding

In 2010, Sponge quietly released Destroy the Boy, a 5-track EP that featured some of their best songs since their '90s heyday. Stop the Bleeding seeks to expand that EP into a full-length album, with those songs reappearing alongside five or six new ones (a bonus track is included). Unfortunately, the majority of the newer songs are so tonally different that Stop the Bleeding almost sounds like two very different EPs awkwardly combined onto one disc. Songs like "What Were You Doing Outside," "Life's Bitter Pills," and "Time in a Bottle" (a cover) - all saved for the album's second half, possess a heavy electronic/industrial flavor, and are largely bereft of guitars or real drums. Of the new additions, only "Fade From View" and "Dance Floor" immediately register, though neither quite gel, production-wise, with the earlier songs either. In 2002, Sponge's fourth album "For All the Drugs in the World" was first issued as an EP before reappearing as a full-length, but when it did, it sounded like one cohesive set. Stop the Bleeding is still a worthy effort as the good songs still outweigh the duds, and it's nice to see the excellent Destroy the Boy material get a wider release. However, it doesn't completely come together as a full album. Best cuts: "Star," "Destroy the Boy," "Come in from the Rain"


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