By Brian Hiatt
Updated October 10, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Fire Theft reunites three quarters of putative emo godfathers Sunny Day Real Estate with a new name — and a fresh burst of inspiration. The band — falsetto-lovin’ frontman Jeremy Enigk, drummer William Goldsmith, and Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel — moves easily between delicate pop miniatures and grandiose rock epics, all played with more focus than Sunny Day’s oft-hazy efforts. Old fans may dislike their classic-rock ambition and orchestral gloss, but the Fire Theft could be the rare spin-off that equals its progenitor.