Bowling For Soup’s ‘A Hangover You Don’t Deserve’ Turns Ten

bowling for soup

When I moved schools in ’09, there was absolutely nothing that tied me to the music I listened to and the music of the people who then started to surround me. I found myself in a drastically different environment and I longed for someone to talk about something I could relate to. I wanted to be able to talk about anything music-related to anyone who spoke the slightest bit of the alternative music scene’s language.

There I was, a junior in a new school, so far from where I grew up, surrounded by girls who only wanted to listen to Kid Cudi and Trey Songz on their iPods. You couldn’t imagine the excitement that consumed me when I heard a girl listening to A Hangover You Don’t Deserve’s opening track, “Almost,” down the hallway. Hearing a song off of Bowling For Soup‘s only record that made it into the Top 40 suddenly revitalized my supposedly music-deprived semester through who I found out later was Jessica from 6th period. To this day, I still bump into her at shows every now and then.

Flashback to five years prior to that encounter; 2004, a cover of SR-71’s “1985” came on the radio and I felt like a puppy discovering its tail for the first time. It was a cool moment because it fueled my desire to gain more insight into the pop punk scene I knew so very little about then. Admittedly, I didn’t know it was a cover until much later, but that really didn’t matter. I never bothered listening to the original anyway. I learned every word and I vividly recall getting a few other songs off AHYDD into my MP3 player as soon as I got one.

Having been nominated for a Grammy Award, A Hangover You Don’t Deserve was one of the few pop punk records from its time period that actually penetrated the general public’s music libraries. I have friends who have absolutely no idea what pop punk is, yet they sing “1985” with me word for word whenever it comes on. A lot of other songs on this record strike the same way, ten years later. To this day, “Trucker Hat” is still the cheesiest, most adorable song I know. I still recall wanting a cool trucker hat (or more accurately, a boy in a cool trucker hat who listened to good music) because of it. I still kind of do, actually.

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When I think of every band I ardently listen to now, I can’t help but notice that I gravitate towards those artists whose lyrics are relatively wordier and more challenging to regurgitate. There’s something really invigorating about words sliding out of your mouth effortlessly. If it weren’t for track number four, “Get Happy,” I don’t think I would have been able to grasp the lyrics to Paramore’s “Misery Business” as quickly as I did, or possess the ability to recite Sum 41’s “Underclass Hero” even in my sleep.

“Ohio (Come Back to Texas)” was one of the few songs I didn’t get into when I was going through this record’s appreciation cycle. It wasn’t until college when I’d encountered the song again for the first time in ages that I’d realized how much I enjoyed it. This, among other songs like “Down For The Count” and “Two-Seater” are ones I also don’t skip anymore.

I still thoroughly enjoy majority of the songs from A Hangover You Don’t Deserve. It’s one of the records I wouldn’t necessarily classify as a favorite, but still cling onto because of its significance. The lyrics, one of this record’s strongest and most appealing qualities, gave me a slightly less accurate, but nonetheless valid idea of what growing up would be like in terms of relationships. It made little old me expect the cutesy (“Shut Up And Smile”) things to inevitably turn into “Sad, Sad Situations” like dating an “A-Hole” or inevitably being someone’s “Next Ex-Girlfriend.” As it turns out, this wasn’t always the case; and although I may not have shared the same high school experiences as Jaret Reddick, one thing he mentioned should always resonate within us all: it’s that at the end of the day, “all we (will ever) need is an ice cream and a hug… and love… and beer.” Sounds about right.

Editorial written by Dana Reandelar
‘A Hangover You Don’t Deserve’ turns 10 today, September 14.

Dana Reandelar

If not hunched over her desk writing about music, Dana can be found binge-watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls or condensing long rants to 140 characters. She also writes for Idobi Radio, and is an Off The Record podcast contributor.
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