Sunny Day Real Estate The Rising Tide

On their fourth album, Seattle's Sunny Day Real Estate live up to the lush orchestral post-punk potential they've been hinting at and flirting with for the past eight years. The Rising Tide, the band's second studio effort since their 1997 reunion when drummer William Goldsmith realised his thunderous pounding was being wasted as a back-line member of Foo Fighters, is a deep, textured and simply gorgeous rock record. Recording as a three-piece, Goldsmith, guitarist Dan Hoerner and vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Enigk (who pulls triple duty as bassist on the record as well) have enlisted the studio help of co-producer Lou Giordano, who has done similar things with Sugar and Goo Goo Dolls. This record successfully melds a thick rock sound with subtle classical accents to create what will be either one of the most heralded or misunderstood records of the year. The best reference points are Queensryche, minus the metal posing and bad haircuts, crossed with the nouveau epic grunge of Gish-era Smashing Pumpkins. The Rising Tide swerves from the opening rock stabs of "Killed By an Angel," "One" and "Snibe" to the gentle acoustic emo tinged "Rain Song," "The Ocean" and "Tearing In My Heart," making pit stops with the Pumpkins-like "Television" and more conventional rockers like "Disappear" and "Faces in Disguise," which put Enigk's warped falsetto to great use. The band's lyrics and music work together in a kind of emotional harmony that is seldom heard with such sincerity in pop music today. Only contemporaries like Sense Field and Farside can compete in terms of maturity and honesty. (Time Bomb)