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No Chocolate Cake (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

When the Gin Blossoms returned from a long hiatus with 2006's Major Lodge Victory, they partnered up with the Rembrandts’ Danny Wilde, who wrote several of the album’s tracks. Wilde is back on board for No Chocolate Cake, this time in a more active role that finds him producing, co-writing, and playing on most of the album. That’s not meant to diminish the group’s own contributions, which retain much of the spunk from the Gin Blossoms’ mid-‘90s heyday. Robin Wilson’s voice is strong, and the songs have a familiar heartland hum to them, with Jessie Valenzuela and Scott Johnson filling each one with jangled guitar arpeggios and tasteful solos. These songs may not have the widespread recognition of "Hey Jealousy," but that’s not the point, since No Chocolate Cake sets its sights on maintaining the band’s audience rather than reclaiming a spot in the mainstream.


Formed: 1987 in Tempe, AZ

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

By blending contemporary power pop with elements of the post-grunge era, Gin Blossoms briefly emerged as torchbearers of the lighter side of alternative rock. Bassist Bill Leen and guitarist Doug Hopkins formed the band in 1987 in Tempe, AZ, rounding out the initial lineup with vocalist Jesse Valenzuela, guitarist Richard Taylor, and drummer Chris McCann. The following year saw several personnel shifts as the band struggled to solidify -- McCann was replaced by Dan Henzerling (and, shortly thereafter,...
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No Chocolate Cake (Bonus Track Version), Gin Blossoms
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