TITLE: New Miserable Experience
YEAR RELEASED: 1992
CHART ACTION: #30 US, #1 Heatseekers, #53 UK
SINGLES: Mrs. Rita (#36 Mainstream), Hey Jealousy (#25, #4 Mainstream, #24), Until I Fall Away (#40 Mainstream, #13 Modern), Found Out About You (#25, #5 Mainstream, #1 Modern, #40 UK), Allison Road (#20 Mainstream, #39 Modern)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: You may have this, and remember other songs. It sold a boatload.
LINEUP: Robin Wilson, Doug Hopkins, Jesse Valenzuela, Bill Leen, Phillip Rhoads.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A pleasant sounding jangly, kinda power-poppy, rock record lumped into Alternative Rock because of the times. It sold a boatload.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Back in the 90’s, I got sick of the Gin Blossoms and sold this record back. I think I got 50 cents or something (the market was flooded). On re-listen I discovered that the main reason I got sick of them, besides constant radio airplay for two years, was that singer Robin Wilson sounds the same in every song. I mean, THE SAME.
The melodies may be slightly different, but his inflection and range are in a very set band. The songs are very similar in many aspects, but Wilson’s voice doesn’t help anything. They do add some flourishes outside of the norm (“Cajun Song” for one, and “Hands Are Tied” has more oomph), but still the songs sound nearly the same in terms of melody and feel.
This record took about a year to break, thanks to A&M finally deciding to jump on board the alternative rock game. It did sound somewhat fresh on the radio, and after a long period of not hearing it I was reminded of its pleasant, if limited, charms.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: You may know that guitarist Doug Hopkins, who wrote half of the songs, including the two everyone knows, was kicked out due to alcoholism and later committed suicide. What you may not know is that the band forced him to give up his band royalties and half of his songwriting royalties as well. He also wasn’t credited on the albuim.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a whole bunch of tracks from earlier records (their first independent record isn’t streaming). A&M also changed the cover when this started to break.
GRADE B-: Some of the deeper cuts are better (or at least unique), like “Hands Are Tied”, but this album is basically built on its singles.