After breaking through with the unexpected hit "Stars" off 1995's You'd Prefer an Astronaut, the group released the ambitious, if somewhat commercially underappreciated 1998 follow-up Downward Is Heavenward before officially calling it quits in 2000. Over the intervening years, the bandmembers would move on to other projects, occasionally reforming for one-off live shows. Following a more formal reunion and tour in 2015, the group entered the studio to record what would become their fifth studio album, Inlet. As dark and tonally blistering as anything they did in their early years, Inlet essentially finds Hum picking up where they left off in 1998. Part of what made their brain-pummeling brand of "loud-quiet-loud" rock so compelling was their knack for packing their guitar-heavy din with gorgeously spiraling melodies and oddball sci-fi lyrics. From the start, Inlet pulls you into the same emotional headspace. Cuts like the opening "Waves," "In the Den," and "Step into You" are densely packed with a cosmic array of overdriven guitars and asteroid-pummeling drumbeats against which singer Matt Talbott offers his poignantly flat spaceman vocals. There are also more languid moments here as on the expansive "Desert Rambler," which moves from a rocket liftoff chorus to a shimmering midsection in which Talbott sings against sparkling arpeggios like a melancholy poet astronaut gliding through the purple clouds of a geomagnetic storm. It's that kind of wistful, time- and space-bending sensory overload that marked the best of Hum's work in the '90s and which shimmers through all of Inlet. As Talbott sings on "Folding," "Do you feel the hemisphere? Do you feel the same? Like you used to...."