For weeks I’ve been hearing this song on the radio I really liked but I could never clearly hear the name of the band when the DJ mumbled it afterwards. So I went into the Princeton Record Exchange and sheepishly asked if they had heard of a band called Lenny Nero. No? How about Emmy Hero? As fate would have it (I suffer from a delusion that CDs I want seek me out) Remy Zero was eyeballing me in the $1.99 – $4.99 section.
File this one under Radiohead meets Bono in a dark alley with the members of Queen hiding in the shadows with baseball bats.
The band hails from Alabama but has made Los Angeles their new home, frequently performing at the Viper Room. Villa Elaine, their second release, is a decent collection of songs. The mustard of Remy Zero is lead singer Cinjun Tate’s strong falsetto voice and their Brit-pop multi-harmonies. If you’re looking to hear some Alabama roots, it just ain’t there y’all.
“Prophecy” is the single that caught my ear on the radio. The hook sucked me in and knocked me on my ass. Not safe when you’re driving. I especially like the corny synthesized explosion effects right out of an ’80s metal song.
My only complaint is that Villa Elaine sounded a bit overproduced at times. They are strongest when they strip down and lose their blurry psychedelia and look to their guitars to accelerate the songs. “Problem” and “Hollow” are steps in that direction.
Apparently actress Alyssa Milano also finds Remy Zero strongest when stripped down. My Hollywood sources tell me she is engaged to head Zero, Cinjun Tate.
Let’s hope they don’t share the same agent.