I know the feeling. When I was 16, before "emo" became a dirty word--and boy has it become dirty--if you'd asked me to recommend the record that best exemplifies the term I would have held up a copy of the band's Diary or LP2 (aka "the pink album"). And yes I'm aware that the genesis of the term starts with bands like Rites of Spring and Embrace, but it was SDRE who really codified the elements of post-grunge bloodletting, octave chords and Jesus that would leave a lasting impact on the now-maligned subgenre.
As a first generation fan of the band I was enraptured with excitement when they first reunited in 1998 with the solid offering How It feels to Be Something On. So excited, in fact, that I managed to see them seven times on the tours that followed over the next few years. I fondly remember attending the band's first proper show in California--a state that they had famously avoided for reasons that are a mystery to this day--I remember a dude who cried when Jeremy Enigk signed his bible, I remember meeting the band and having them tell me that their only musical influences were The Beatles, U2 and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, I even remember seeing a few different people who had tattoos of the cover art from Diary and HIFTBSO. I remember learning their first two records beat for beat on the drums. The point is that people lost their fucking shit over this band. I once lost my shit to this band when I was listening to them on headphones while on a plane that briefly fell from the sky and nearly crashed, for years making me sick to my stomach on any time I tried to listen to HIFTBSO.
Unfortunately, things got grim when the band released the metatrocious (meaning atrociously atrocious) The Rising Tide, a record--with lyrics like, "Though its only a clever game / Running from our lives / And we linger on / But if we try to lift up our eyes / Replacing the lies / We own this moment"--that even Chris Martin & Co. would have been embarrassed to call their own. Another tour followed before the band broke up a second time, citing what is perhaps the worst break up excuse of all time: label difficulties.
The break-up came only a year or two before the grand misappropriation of emo. I'm sure bands of the shotgun-headed cultural juggernaut from Hawthorne Heights to My Chemical Romance to Taking Back Sunday to any seven word-titled band on RCKTWN's current calendar cite SDRE as an influence, endearing them to a new audience who are probably salivating for a reunion in the way that I was when I was a wee teenager.
Judging from from this news item, those kids are about to get their wish as it was reported that the band will reunite for a North American tour that will bring them to Atlanta's CW Center Stage on Oct. 3. Tickets are $27.50 and can be purchased here.
Unlike the band's first reunion this one will include original bassist Nate Mendel (most well-known for his 14-year tenure as a member of the Foo Fighters). In fact, according to singer Jeremy Enigk, the reunion was instigated by Mendel, who is probably in desperate need of a viable musical outlet after playing "Times Like These" and the cringe-worthy "Best of You" in stadiums for the past few years. In statement released by Sub Pop. he had this to say:
I wasn't around for the second version of the band that recorded the third and fourth albums, so I've always had a feeling of unfinished business there. We had all these outsized ideas back then, 'Everyone's going to learn a new instrument,' and 'Let's do a rock opera,' but before we could get anywhere with them, the band broke up. We left behind all these weird and beautiful songs, though, and they've stuck with me all this time. I'm really happy that we get a chance to play them together again.
In addition to the tour the band will also be reissuing both Diary and LP2 with bonus tracks and liner notes. While a Nashville date has yet to be announced, it's worth noting that the band has a night off between their Atlanta and Dallas shows, so keep your emo fingers crossed that they're still adding dates.