From Instant Nostalgia
I’ve intentionally steered clear from the circular discussion of which songs would have been the single to make Fluid Ounces “make it” if it had been pushed properly by the different powers that be. It just seems moot now. The saddest commentary of all is that Instant Nostalgia produced this powerful pop song that, yes, could have been the one to help the band “break out,” instead being released to deaf ears with no label interest or hope for radio play as the band prepares to call it quits. Seriously, did The Rage actually listen to the record before they reviewed it?
As if the whole record isn’t powerful enough or good enough, hearing “Private Hell” is the one that inter-weaves so many of the classic elements of a song that turns it into perhaps the crowning achievement in the Fluid Ounces canon. It expertly weaves through the psychological hang-ups that drive so many people to either desperately seek out or, later, to give up on relationships (as the song implies by admonishing its listener to “put that property [in your own private hell] up for sale”). Yes, so many classic caricatures are painted of the desperately-seeking, painting a very bleak portrait of humanity and then even having them interact in a “quickie in the car outside.” All of this is wrapped up perfectly and succinctly in the endlessly catchy chorus that anyone can sing along to by its second appearance in the song. It is the last to capture the trademark happy-sounding-but-really-sad Fluid Ounces sound, accomplishing this most expertly and most poignantly.
Yes, Seth Timbs out-did himself with this gem, and has he prophesied so long ago, it is as if he “never made a sound ‘cause there’s no one there to hear it.”