I think, had I never had the pleasure of hearing them before I knew anything about them, I might not like Sunny Day Real Estate. For instance, there’s this, from their Myspace page: “Around this time, they decided to maintain secrecy about themselves and their music, releasing only one photograph to the public and conducting only one interview; they also never played as a full band in the state of California.” Factor in the numerous, slightly pretentious name changes (‘Thief Steal Me A Peach’?!) and you have all the makings of emo silliness. And we all know how I and the band feel about emo.
Alas, this never happened…and much to my benefit. You see, Sunny Day Real Estate is amazing. Fantastic, even. You see, call it what you want, SDRE played some of the most innovative music ever created. Most called it “emo”, and the members all have punk/hardcore pedigrees, but it is as far removed from today’s faux-angsty, whiny suburban pseudo-punk/metal as Godsmack is from Kreator. It’s just not the same, and it deserves to be judged on its own merits.
I’ll grant that some of the “Diary” material is a stretch for metallized ears, even my own. In the same way, some of “The Rising Tide” is a stretch for ears raised on a diet of sanctimonious punk and hardcore. Fine.
It’s just that, well, it’s so…different. Jeremy Enigk can *sing* man, and it’s one of those times when all these disparate elements come together to make music that is neither punk nor metal nor pop, but manages to be all of them at once. In a certain sense, they remind me of Type O Negative. The hooks are huge, but aren’t apparent right away, like “You give love a band name” or something would be.
You know? Fuck, I don’t! =)