Although they weren't around for long, Drive Like Jehu had a tremendous impact on the evolution of hardcore punk into emo.
Under-appreciated during their existence in the early '90s, the band was sometimes overlooked next to post-hardcore kin like Fugazi and Quicksand. At the time, many critics also lacked the frame of reference to place their music in a broader context. The term "emo" hadn't yet come into wider use, and while Drive Like Jehu didn't much resemble the sound that word would later come to signify, they exerted a powerful pull on its development. Moreover, they did fit the earlier definition of emo: challenging, intricate guitar rock rooted in hardcore and performed with blistering intensity, especially the frenzied vocals.
Drive Like Jehu was arguably the most progressive of the leading post-hardcore bands: their lengthy, multisectioned compositions were filled with odd time signatures, orchestrated builds and releases, elliptical melodies, and other twists and turns that built on the innovations of the Dischord label. The result was one of the most distinctive and ferocious sounds in the loosely defined post-hardcore movement.