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New Miserable Experience

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Album Review

The Gin Blossoms were one of the more truly damned rock & roll bands to grace the pop charts in the 1990s. The group was founded and spiritually led by singer-guitarist Doug Hopkins, who also wrote the band's best songs; however, by the time New Miserable Experience marked the band's major-label debut in 1992, Hopkins had been kicked out (his bandmates had apparently tired of dealing with his alcoholism). Hopkins killed himself shortly thereafter, and the band later enjoyed the biggest hit of its career with "'Til I Hear It From You" (which, perversely, never appeared on a Gin Blossoms album, but only on the Empire Records soundtrack — and was written by outside writer Marshall Crenshaw to boot). The band dropped from sight not long after.

Released during the heyday of grunge music, New Miserable Experience remains the best and most representative document of the group's existence, a tight and lean collection of brilliant, edgy pop music that was markedly different from the bulk of 1992's modern rock albums. "Hey Jealousy" and "Until I Fall Away" are the two songs that leave the deepest impression — and, appropriately, both were successful singles — but the crunchy, jangled melodicism and lyrical desperation of "Hold Me Down" is similarly notable. Two dilettantish genre pieces — "Cajun Song" and a country weeper called "Cheatin'" (as in "you can't call it cheatin' 'cause she reminds me of you") — provide the program's two low points, but even those aren't completely without charm.

Customer Reviews

29 you think I'd know better

I have listened to this album every single day since 1993. It's the soundtrack to my life...and my life is pretty damn good. If you don't have it. Get it.

Grossly understated band.

Truly a classic, it should be in everyone's collection. I was so sorry to hear of the lead singer's demise: a tragic hero indeed. 'Hey Jealousy' is one of the most moving songs of modern times, a lump sticks in my throat whenever I hear it. I think British Indie bands of the early nineties spent their entire careers trying to capture the spirit of that tune, beautiful sadness...

please god dont let us see our ex girlfriends on the road tour 1991

remember doug hopkins rip

Biography

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,...
Full bio