“meet me there, in the blue
where words are not, feeling remains. 

sincerity, trust in me, throw myself into your door.

well i go in circles 
running down.

meet me there in the blue
where words are not feeling
oh i dream to heal your wounds
but i bleed myself, 
well i bleed myself.

well i go in circles 
running down.” 

~In Circles, 
Sunny Day Real Estate, Diary 
This album was released 20 years ago. Let that sink in, especially around the minute-and-a-half mark when the one-liner chorus kicks in followed by the kind of signature suspended minor chords so often employed by this band that helped shape a genre, the kind that make you realize how much intensity is often missing in today’s alt-rock. This is probably my favorite track of theirs, that chorus memorialized in passing moments in other-friends-of-older-friends basements. I missed out on this early age of emo, the one rooted deep in grunge, by sheer timing. So I played catch-up as I best I could while still discovering the trends and trials of the scene of the early aughts. But since everyone’s getting all #emorevival and since good music has no shelf life, it seems a good year to fully uncover the bands that lurked around the edges for me. It’s been incredibly satisfying, at a time when new music and bands (with select exception) get stale pretty quickly with the same old tired sound and weak attempts at shaping an “image” that often comes across as fakery. Better to seek out something already tested, that’s held up against the unrelenting foes of times and taste.From ample and front-loaded bass lines, heavy distortion and strung-out-on-sadness lyrics, so much of what I hear in Sunny Day Real Estate is everything I look for when I search out new up-and-coming bands today. Especially when I find the aggressive, understated drama so perfectly suitable for wordless feeling. Especially when their brand of taut and unresolved melody creates a forceful misery, one with enough attack and movement to distract the busy mind and assault the masochistic heart.