Pioneering modern rock outfit Sunny Day Real Estate has broken up for the second time in its tumultuous, nearly 10-year career. In a statement posted on its official Web site, the group, which was most recently signed to Time Bomb, chalked up the decision to “a string of bad luck,” including the recent dissolution of Time Bomb’s distribution deal with Arista.
That turn of events made staging a European tour and laying groundwork for a new studio album “near impossible,” according to a statement. SDRE’s lone Time Bomb release, “The Rising Tide,” earned the group its highest-ever chart showing last summer when it debuted at No. 97 on The Billboard 200. The set sold 67,000 copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan, but failed to generate much rock radio airplay for the single “One.”
The band’s striking blend of emotionally resonant hardcore struck an immediate chord with listeners on its 1994 Sub Pop debut album, “Diary.” A second album followed in 1995, but internal tensions had already broken up the group — frontman Jeremy Enigk, guitarist Dan Hoerner, bassist Nate Mendel, and drummer William Goldsmith — by the time the disc was released.
A three-year hiatus followed, during which time Enigk released an orchestral-pop solo album titled “Return of the Frog Queen,” while Goldsmith and Mendel joined Foo Fighters. But in 1998, the band suddenly regrouped — minus Mendel, who was replaced by a succession of bassists — to record the set “How it Feels to be Something On,” which peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart.
Enigk “will most likely begin work on a second solo album,” according to the statement. The vocalist told Billboard.com last summer that he had two albums left on his solo deal with Sub Pop, but a label spokesperson had no information on a possible forthcoming release. Hoerner “has at least two albums worth of material meant for Sunny Day which he intends to pick up on with a new band,” and Goldsmith “may already have a new band lined up.”
Alluding to SDRE’s on-again/off-again tendencies, the statement suggests fans not “count [the band] out forever.” The group’s final show was last November in Lincoln, Neb.