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.
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AllMusic Review by Andrew Leahey