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Rarities Edition: New Miserable Experience

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Album Review

Originally released in 2002 as part of the New Miserable Experience Deluxe Edition, this album collects material from the first five years of the Gin Blossoms’ career. Included are two full EPs, several outtakes, and a number of live songs taken from a 1993 concert in Solana Beach, CA. The Gin Blossoms originally released New Miserable Experience in 1992, right in the middle of Nirvana’s heyday, and their jangled pop songs made them sound like the clean-cut cousins to grunge’s grizzled, angsty stepchildren. This collection proves that the band always had teeth, however, and the presence of Doug Hopkins — the talented guitarist and struggling alcoholic who wrote most of the band’s early hits — reminds us that the Gin Blossoms weren’t as squeaky clean as their melodies suggested.

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,...
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Rarities Edition: New Miserable Experience, Gin Blossoms
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