The Gin Blossoms  continue to concoct melodic hooks framed by a mix of jangly alternative pop-rock on the band's newest album, "No Chocolate Cake." While its 1992 breakthrough, "New Miserable Experience," was powered by the pen of co-founder Doug Hopkins, who died the following year, the Gin Blossoms have since primarily showcased the songwriting of members Robin Wilson  and Jesse Valenzuela, revealing an uncommon depth to the group's talents. The new uptempo track "Miss Disarray," which is bubbling under Billboard's Adult Top 40 chart and features writing and production assistance from Danny Wilde  (the Rembrandts ), ushers in the band's second album since 1996. The group needles its past on "Dead or Alive on the 405," where Wilson sings of jamming with an unnamed fellow act once ubiquitous at radio. ("You play your hit from '89, I'll play mine from '95.") And the band summarizes its perseverance on the set's buoyant closer, "Goin' to California," where Wilson offers, "I've got to warn ya that I may never leave again." The Gin Blossoms' loyal fan base undoubtedly hopes the sentiment translates to a promise kept.
- Album Review