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`TheGoldenHum' on par with band's peers that include Radiohead, REM

Never in your wildest dreams could you fathom a rise to stardom as meteoric and as seemingly anti-climactic as that of RemyZero.

Suppose your Georgia-based art band's demo tape fell into the hands of Radiohead, and you were subsequently invited to open for their 1995 Bends tour. Based on your performance, you land a record contract with Geffen, move to Los Angeles, where you release an album in 1998 to critical acclaim and comparisons to bands such as U2, REM and fittingly enough, Radiohead. Add to that, the marriage of your lead singer, Cinjun Tate, to Alyssa Milano, and you suddenly have the stuff of which dreams are made. But where do you go from there?

If you happen to be RemyZero, you spend the next three years changing labels, recording your next album in England and divorcing wives - yes, all the bands members are divorced, including Cinjun.

While this combination of events would derail weaker bands, somehow, RemyZero has managed to feed off this bitter lifestyle with sweet results.

In sharp contrast to their bold, self-proclaiming 1998 album, Villa Elaine, TheGoldenHum delivers both fond recollections of erstwhile memories and optimistic professions of humanity without getting caught up in tragedy. From the opening title track's 20-plus seconds of record noise leading into an intricate instrumental, it is evident that this album requires more than one listen to be properly absorbed.

Starting with "Glorious #1," RemyZero clearly demonstrates that the departure from its previous album is not merely the result of hard life experiences, but also is a clear statement of personal growth and self-awareness.

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"Out/In" sets the tone for the rest of the album with a reflective song presenting feelings of disagreement between friends combined with long-term support and overall respect for the other party.

Though darker songs such as "Bitter" and "Save Me" will make up of the majority of the upcoming radio fare from RemyZero, unheralded songs such as "Belong" and "Smile" better reflect the "accept life as it comes" message of TheGoldenHum. The effect of the band's collective marital break-ups is evident in the almost ballad-like composition and lyrics of "I'm Not Afraid," in which Tate expresses frustration about relationship difficulties, while at the same time demonstrating a balance of self-sufficiency and a desire to reconcile.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about TheGoldenHum is the artistic license given to the band in the recording process. This freedom brought about an album that is reflective of where RemyZero is as a band, instead of pandering to what critics or fans expected or wanted to hear.

Often mistaken for a British band and credited with inspiring Nigel Godrich's production of Radiohead's OK Computer, RemyZero owns cerebral rock this side of the Atlantic ... at least for now.

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