CD Review: Gin Blossoms take another run at rock stardom

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11630265679454.jpg’, ”, ”);

By Jonathan Hicks

Staff Writer

It’s 1994 all over again! Well, at least that’s what the Gin Blossoms are hoping now that they’ve released Major Lodge Victory, their first studio album in four years.

More than a decade past their popular peak, the much-maligned alt-rockers have endured the suicide of a bandmate, the termination of their record deal and an unpleasant four-year break-up.

Though bands have called it quits permanently because of less, the Gin Blossoms have decided to take another run at rock stardom, this time through an independent label (Hybrid Recordings) and (presumably) with many of their internal issues having been dealt with.

One thing is for certain: the Tempe, Ariz., natives, once considered household names for their hit singles “Hey, Jealousy,” “Found Out About You,” and “‘Till I Hear It from You,” haven’t messed with the formula that worked for them. Tried and true guitar melodies and crisp harmonies highlight an album filled with choruses that would fit in perfectly with those radio gems. Guitarist Jesse Valenzuela still serves as primary songwriter and crooner Robin Wilson still takes his place at the microphone.

Unfortunately for the Gin Blossoms, the music world is a much different place today than it was in the post-Nirvana, pre-Backstreet Boys era of the mid 1990s. With that in mind, don’t expect any of the tracks on Major Lodge Victory to be on top of any radio station’s request list.

However, what the Blossoms still have going for them is that good songs never go out of style. This is what makes Major Lodge Victory a win of the Major League variety. The album is strong from start to finish, with all of the classic Gin Blossoms elements remaining in place. They don’t re-invent the wheel—but they don’t need to. Any former fans who still enjoy listening to New Miserable Experience or Congratulations I’m Sorry will love the new material, even if only out of amazement for the band’s consistency.

From the Nov.8-14, 2006, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!