Vinnie Dombroski of Sponge and former Queensryche guitarist Chris DeGarmo are at a loss to describe exactly what their new venture, Spys4Darwin, sounds like.

"It sounds like Devo — just kidding," Dombroski cracks. "It's a guitar-rock thing, definitely, a guitar-bass-drum-vocal thing. It's very organic. There are certainly some good, mid-tempo rock tunes."

DeGarmo takes his shot: "It's guitar-driven, and Vin's contribution is sort of the punk-pop edge thing. He's got a nice growl to his voice. It's a fat sound; we can move from a thicker, heavier guitar base to a more ethereal acoustic-based thing, too. It's got a dark flavor throughout it, generally, but very melodic."

The world can judge for itself now that Spys4Darwin — which also features the Alice in Chains rhythm section of bassist Mike Inez and drummer Sean Kinney — released microfish, a six-song EP, via its Web site ( on May 18. A full-length album, possibly on a major label, is expected for early 2002.

DeGarmo and Kinney formed Spys4Darwin two years ago, after the two toured as part of Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell's band in support of his solo album, Boggy Depot. They subsequently recruited Inez and then came after Dombroski from a "short list" of singers they felt would work. Tapes were exchanged beginning in October of 1999, and subsequent recording sessions have been held in Seattle.

"It's been pretty easy-going, no pressure," Dombroski says. "Before you knew it, we had a bunch of songs recorded. It's the most productive non-working environment I've ever been in." DeGarmo adds, "We didn't really put any defining boundaries around it, which was pretty attractive to everybody. It was more or less that we were all of a certain kind of caliber; if we got together we didn't know what would happen, but we had a fairly good hunch it would be pretty interesting."

Spys4Darwin — named after one of the homeless people who hung around the Seattle recording studio — may perform a select number of shows during the summer to promote microfish, but a full-fledged tour is unlikely until an album is released.