Remy Zero
Remy Zero


First Appeared at The Music Box, March 2000, Volume 7, #3

Written by Michael Karpinski


Held up to its successor 1998's excellent Villa Elaine Remy Zero's self-titled, self-produced debut comes across as a comparatively undercooked collection of b-side-quality basement-tape experimentations. While not exactly Guided By Voices-style lo-fi, Remy Zero lacks the sharp, seamless synergy of spacey atmospherics and swift kicks to the cajones that made Villa Elaine such a welcome revelation.

For all its obvious ambitions, the debut album's somewhat murky mix of feedback-laced rave-ups and drug-numb acoustic noodlings never quite succeeds in fusing into anything memorable. Which is to say: The spirit is willing, but the songs are weak. Twister begins auspiciously enough, but eventually loses its sense of direction (unlike Villa Elaine's similar, but more focused, Fair). Elsewhere, Temenos (Here Come the Shakes) churns with Foo Fighters mock-ferocity, and Queen of Venus's pleasantly Helter Skelter, Beck-meets-Reznor toss-off bleeds effortlessly into Chromosome's demonically despondent drone.

As Remy Zero's sound is often described as embodying elements of both Nirvana and Radiohead, it is perhaps appropriate to note that Nevermind and OK Computer did not spring full-formed and glorious from a couple of budding bands they followed in a line of increasingly assured, increasingly sophisticated discs over a period of years. At this point in time, whether or not Remy Zero is destined to follow in their forbearers' famous footsteps is entirely a matter of conjecture. There can be little doubt, however, that this budding band's next record will be saddled with some rather heavy, heady expectations. Here's hoping they can withstand the weight. starstar

Remy Zero is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright 2000 The Music Box