THEN: 1994 and Sub Pop was at the top of its game. Others such as Touch and Go, Blast First, Amphetamine Reptile, Cargo were all dishing out quality fayre, but it was the Seattle label that remained the go-to choice for hard-rocking anger and good times. So Sunny Day Real Estate's Diary caught a lot of people off-guard. Mostly it was singer Jeremy Enigk's voice, this guy sounded like he could actually sing - and it sounded like he was singing about intensly personal themes too, hence 'Diary' I suppose, this couldn't be right from the label who gave us Mudhoney, the band who sang about being drunk for 24 hours. Add to that the slightly creepy and childlike artwork of the record and it felt like Diary was a step in a new direction. Luckily, whilst making us think, it also rocked. Hard.
NOW: Little surprise that Dave Grohl called up rhythm section Nate Mendel (bass) and William Goldsmith (drums) when putting together his new project Foo Fighters in 1995, the drumming especially is awesome across the whole album. Take opener Seven for example: nearly five minutes of constant rolls and fills across a track that was a permanent fixture on many a mix-tape made around that period (to both guys and girls - evidence of the rocking and sensitive all-roundess of the group).
I hadn't listened to it for a while and seemed to remember the intensity level dropping off after Seven and In Circles, but no, the quality remains consistently high across all eleven songs. From the blistering Rounds and Shadows, surreal Grendel and Pheurton Skeurto and the epic 47 and 48. It's fair to argue that Diary was amongst the first Emo records, but don't confuse it with the cynical bullshit of today, there is far more intelligence to Diary than simply plastering on a bit of eyeliner. A classic of classics.
SUP POP SAYS: “Sunny Day’s key members have seemingly engaged in just about every rock cliché imaginable.”
KILLER TRACK: Seven
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