Sunny Day Real Estate – Diary

This is a masterpiece

Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary - Cover

There was a channel on Sky a few years ago called 'P-Rock'. You may remember it, it wasn't around for long. It introduced me to bands like Reel Big Fish, Thursday and Taking Back Sunday amongst others. I called them 'P-Rock bands'. It seemed to play songs from bands that were really obscure, but songs that were amazing. Hot Water Music, Tsunami Bomb were another couple. However, one day, a song came on that blew my socks off. It was 'Diary' by a band called 'Sunny Day Real Estate'. The video wasn't much, it was short animated clips featuring the juxtaposed situations that adorns the sleeve of the album by the same name. I was gobsmacked. How could I have not heard this before? Where was I living? Those drums, felt relentless. How hard were they being played? The 'loud-quiet-loud' formula made famous by bands such as Nirvana really struck a chord. The strange, sometimes fragile singing style, the unorthodox but melodious guitar. I was hooked.

Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary - BookletTo say I was amazed at that track was nothing compared to the first time I heard the album. Diary, the title track, opens the record and is followed by 'In Circles'; another sublime track. A little slower but still retaining all that melodic goodness from the opener. Those drums are being hit hard! Song About An Angel really gets the album cracking. "RUN BEHIIIINNND" screams singer Jeremy Enigk before falling back into that fragile, angelic softness. The album continues with more glorious tracks throughout; '47' is just fantastic with superb lyrics and those consistent pounding drums. 'Shadows', 'Grendel' and 'Sometimes' are absolute belters. The vocal range of Enigk is stunning and although the lyrics are quite abstract but there's no pretentiousness detected, at least by these ears. My favourite is 'Grendel' a sprawling track with haunting guitars and the wonderful line, 'I wanted to be them, but instead I destroyed myself'.

First released in 1994, this is the 2009 reissue on Sub Pop (SP846) and is a double heavyweight LP in a gatefold sleeve, complete with a 12" booklet detailing how the band and album came together (and how the band folded just as quickly) as well as they lyrics to each song. The sleeve is on heavyweight card stock and is of a very high quality. The familar artwork from the original pressing is here as well. The two white inner sleeves are die-cut on one side with the Sub Pop logo tiled across the front and back. The labels are minimalistic; plain black with the name of each side ('Sunny', 'Day', 'Real' and 'Estate' on this issue rather that 'Sunny Day' and 'Real Estate' on the one vinyl issues) printed at the top and a Sub Pop logo on the bottom. Tracks '8' and '9' weren't on the original pressings, but are tracks from the 'Thief Steal Me A Peach' 7" that was released in 1993. All the songs on this issue are remastered from the original tapes at Golden Mastering.

In short, this album is a masterpiece. Beautifully crafted songs from immensely talented musicians. This deserves to be in everyone's collection.



  1. Diary
  2. In Circles
  3. Song About An Angel


  1. Round
  2. 47
  3. The Blankets Were The Stairs
  4. Pheurton Skeurto 


  1. Shadows
  2. 48
  3. Grendel


  1. Sometimes
  2. 8 (originally released on 'Thief Steal Me A Peach' 7")
  3. 8 (originally released on 'Thief Steal Me A Peach' 7")


Sunny – SP-846 A 18482.1(3)… GOLDEN
Day – SP-846 B 18482.2(3)… GOLDEN
Real – SP-846 C 18482.3(3)… GOLDEN
Estate – SP-846 D 18482.4(3)… GOLDEN

Category: LP


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Article by: Brett

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