We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Sunny Day Real Estate

Time Bomb

For three records, Sunny Day Real Estate deservedly garnered iconic status: Diary was cheesy and tasty; LP2 was triumphant and delightfully teasing; How It Feels to Be Something On finally revealed singer-guitarist Jeremy Enigk’s hauntingly full (and remotely muzzein-like) vocal range. Innovation kept the fellas fresh, and even though Something On was more than vaguely reminiscent of LP2, the band (getting back together after disbanding) had invigorated the sound. Sunny Day stuck around for a while to record The Rising Tide. The record’s a perfect copy of the previous two releases. Sure, there are well-constructed melodies carried by Enigk’s unearthly vocals, but you could easily go back and find virtually the same progressions on each of Rising Tide’s predecessors. Therein lies the dualism of Sunny Day Real Estate: Its uniqueness rests in the ability of the band members to make creepy melody and beautiful vocals meld into a distinctive sound. But, unfortunately, their mechanics have played out. A band can musically ascend, descend, and re-climb the same notes only a few times before becoming trite. —Mike Kanin