It remains amazing to me how a band can take relatively simple music and still make it a new and constantly mind-blowing experience. Sunny Day Real Estate's debut album Diary is something of the sort. As Jeremy's thin and waspy voice yell and screech over Dan Hoerner's slow and dizzying guitar drones, it becomes evident that Diary may be somewhat simple, but still carries on it's unique form to an astonishing point. The spiky guitars play with such force that it would appear hard for the rest of the band to keep up. But on "In Circles" and "47", it's not only the vocals, music and lyrics that do the talking. It's the passion. No supposed "emo" album has ever come as close to being as influential as this, and I suspect none will ever touch it.
This band is an undiscovered gem for the most part, having gained little to no spotlight in the mainstream. All of the current crop of emo/punk bands owe a hell of a lot to these guys as they pioneered the emo sound. Great album.
I find Sunny Day Real Estate's later stuff to be better and much more diverse than in Diary. In this album, the guitar has the same overdriven tone on most of the tracks. The vocals don't seem to add to the music any. It's an album that relies entirely on riffs, which aren't even particularly catchy. The songs individually aren't terrible, but they aren't anything new. It's average, at best.