In retrospect, what made countless 1990s alt-bands atrocious wasn't their lack of talent; it was radio's insistence on constantly shoving their biggest tunes down our throats. Take the Gin Blossoms
, whose jangly mega-hits "Hey Jealousy," "Found Out About You" and "Til I Hear It from You" (the last of which was co-written by Marshall Crenshaw) took the R.E.M. big-twang template to seemingly obnoxious, generic heights. But looking back today, the creepy, obsessive tone of "Found" or the brimming-with-regret "Jealousy" ("If I hadn't blown the whole thing years ago, I might not be alone") convey surprising depth and nuance. Later Gin Blossoms albums didn't quite hit this magic perhaps because principal songwriter Doug Hopkins committed suicide shortly after his songs started hitting it big although the band regrouped in 2002 after a five-year hiatus and plan to release a new disc, Major Lodge Victory
, in August.