In keeping with Sunny Day Real Estate tradition, the band continues its brooding, emotional content on this album, its newest release. Now on Time Bomb recordings, Sunny Day Real Estate, previously on Subpop records, remains the same band despite its internal conflicts and its members going and coming back.
This eleven track cd encompasses a sound far from pop, and it seems Sunny Day Real Estate like it that way, thank you very much. Instead we have songs with deep lyrics, and instrumentation underlining such depth. No guitar hooks here.
The music is uncomplicated, yet richly layered between the guitars of Dan Hoerner, the drums of William Goldsmith, and the voice of Jeremy Enigk of most note. Enigk does not have a growl or a roar, but he just as well should have that, for his almost-falsetto voice is so delicate its just as powerful as a roar. His voice is memorable and well suited for the lyrics.
The lyrics themselves are more than well-suited to the music, ingraining further the pit of sad emotion that is Sunny Day Real Estate's Music. For example, in "Snibe" you have lyrics such as "you reign/ you die/ you wait/ you cry." Other examples of bleakness include on "Disappear" the words "we sink like stones/ and wer'e lost beneath the waves/ not a trace to mark the graves." And on "Killed By An Angel" "welcome to the lonesome world of Abel." Its not surprising that in none of the album notes do we find pictures of the band smiling. The music is a great cartharsis for misery.
What is slightly surprising is that Goldsmith once left the band for a stint in the Foo Fighters, a band decidely more pop and upbeat. Yet here we find him again, foregoing that band to return to SDRE.
On the album, besides the theme in tone, a theme of water runs throughout. The band has attached a natural theme to this album, in that many songs center around the wet stuff: "Rain Song," "The Ocean," "Faces in Disguise," "The Rising Tide," and "Disappear" all symbolically mention water. If I was an English professor, I would have to deduce that SDRE is using water to show realism.
Sunny Day Real Estate's the Rising Tide is full of music not fit for the dance floor or the mosh pit, or even the coffee house, in my opinion. Sunny Day Real Estate has found its perfect home at none of these places, but prevails in the fact its perfect home may be as you listen at home, cowering in your room. Such an intimate setting is perfect for the intimate music of Sunny Day Real Estate, music you can be depressed to.
Catherine Galioto is a contributing writer. Contact her at msmatildarockzone.com.