Major Lodge Victory
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The Gin Blossoms are the poster boys for the lasting benefits of touring. New Miserable Experience, the multi-platinum modern-day classic that put the band on the map, broke through as the direct result of nearly a year of intensive roadwork, during which the Blossoms built a large and loyal base, fan by fan. After a long hiatus, the Blossoms burned up the road again in '05, consistently selling out shows and reinvigorating their fan base with new repertoire that is among the best the band has penned. 2006 will be a big year for the band with the release of Major Lodge Victory. The record features the first single, Learning the Hard Way a fitting title for the band's long time together (and apart). The record is loaded with wonderful and soon to be timeless hits. There are 12 songs, 12 new reasons to love the Gin Blossoms.
After a string of hits across the first half of the nineties, the Gin Blossoms disbanded by the decade's end. With the appearance of a greatest hits collection continuing to keep their songs alive, the band did a reunion show that led to a full fledged tour in 2002. Returning to the studio with a dozen new songs, Major Lodge Victory is their first new album in ten years. It's full of guitar hooks wedded to emotionally evocative lyrics ("I promise I won't hurt you anymore" "Mama said your life wouldn't be too easy, that's about the only thing she said at all"), most songs being by band founder Jesse Valenzuela. Robin Wilson's lightly vibratoed vocals have an evocative presence that call to mind Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield anyone?). The band manages to be at once crisp and powerful, occasionally finding grooves to settle into, but never straying far from the dramatic needs of each song. --David Greenberger
Top customer reviews
And that's what's great about Congrats and Lodge: They're chock full of great songs, and noticeably lacking any bad ones, or even ones that smack of being "filler" material. The songs take advantage of Wilson's clear voice, with Valenzuela backing him, and the terrific guitar playing of Valenzuela and Scott Johnson. It's just a pleasure to be able to listen to a guy who can actually sing (and not wail), where I can understand pretty much every piece of lyric coming at me, and Robin Wilson delivers that.
My only real complaint is that Major Lodge Victory took 10 years to come out. I hope their next album will see the light of day a lot sooner than that, I'm looking forward to it.
It's not actually totally like NMS or CIS, but similar. Some of the songs have the signature GB sound, some have a sound that seems to be more comtemporary (Heart Shaped Locket doesn't really sound like them but its a good song). No doubt, though, this is a Gin Blossoms record, and it's a good one. I seem to like the slower songs better (Someday Soon is great, and so is Egde of the World) but Learning the Hard Way and Come on Hard are similar to songs on NMS and sound great. I think the difference in some of the sound is that it was probably written over a long span of time. Overall, though, this CD is classic Gin Blossoms and well worth the money. The only thing at all that I didn't like is that the bass on just about every song is cranked way up. I think that is the sound they are tying to get because when they came to town just after the release they had the bass cranked up and it didn't sound as good as their previous shows.
Way to go, guys! Bring us another new one in a couple of years!
Later I went to a GB concert and they did Come On Hard and I was like "Wow, what song is this? Is it on their new No Chocolate Cake cd?" The guy next to me said it was on Major lodge Victory. So when I got home I decided to give it another listen. Then after a few listens it began to grow on me. And now I like pretty much all the songs on here so give it at least a few spins full through before rushing to judgement.
My favorites from this cd. Learning The Hard Way, Come On Hard, Curious Thing, Jet Black Sunrise, Someday Soon, and Heart Shaped Locket.
Those of us who've been fans for years have been waiting for this ever since 2000 and the rumors that they were coming back together. I've got to say that I'm definitely not disappointed with their latest effort.
These are all songs in the classic Gin Blossoms, pop, jangly, hook-laden style. The real standouts on the album are "Learning the Hard Way", "Come On Hard", "Someday Soon", and "Super Girl".
The reason this gets 4 stars instead of 5 is because of certain songs like "Let's Play Two" and "The End of the World", which sound to me like filler put in there to flesh out the CD.
For those who are new to the Gin Blossoms (i.e., you were either not old enough to listen to the radio in 1993 or living on a deserted island from then until 1998), think of Fountains of Wayne, with a little more harmony (and I also like Fountains of Wayne, so that's no insult).
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It's hard to think that the Gin Blossoms were gone so long. And now that they have reunited, they have proved that they have so much more to...Read more