Sponge Wrings Out Crud

Ladies and gentlemen, Sponge has left the building.

Sponge singer Vinnie Dombroski and guitarist Joey Mazzola have announced that they have formed a new band, Crud, which is set to make its debut February 11 at Lili's 21 in its hometown of Detroit.

Crud consists of Dombroski, Mazzola, original Sponge drummer Jimmy Paluzzi, and bassist Robbie Graham from Hoarse, the group that also housed Paluzzi after his early departure from Sponge. (Hoarse released an album through RCA in the summer of 1997 and broke up this past winter.)

The band's former management and its label, Beyond Records, insist that Sponge (which scored alterna-hits with "Plowed" and "Molly" off of 1994's "Rotting Piñata") is only on hiatus, but Crud manager John Matheson told MTV News that for all intents and purposes, Sponge is no more. His clients own the Sponge name and can resurrect the group, but Matheson says that their efforts will now be directed at developing Crud, a band he describes as much

harder than its predecessor.

Sponge released two albums on Columbia, the near million-seller "Rotting Piñata" and 1996's less successful "Wax Ecstatic" before quietly releasing "New Pop Sunday" on the small Beyond label (home to Yes, Blondie, and Mötley Crüe) last April. The band also lost its management at the start of 1998 when Susan Silver (Soundgarden, Alice In Chains) retired.

Crud is currently shopping for a label deal and expects the Lili's 21 performance to serve as an industry showcase.