Review Summary: Eve 6 debuts with major label self tittled release that plays radio friendly personalized brand of pop punk without the whine.
Coming late on the excursion of California bands to the main stream during the 90's Eve 6 is a three piece radio rock friendly group which in 1998 was just finishing high school when they were signed to RCA records. Launched into the top charts with hit singles 'Inside Out' and a slightly less powerful 'Leech'.
The vocals provided by Max Collins are on the forefront of the tracks with his sincere emphatic voice. Vocal melodies and harmonies throughout the disc invite the listener to sing a lot to pop sensible, desirably catchy lyrics. On a couple of songs additional vocals are provided by guitarist Jon Siebels and Don Gilmore their producer (Linkin Park, Avril Lavigne).
As young musicians the general feel is that the music is targeted to captivate the minds of influential youth. Most of the songs divulge into life experiences as young adults. Centering around relationships with girls, boredom, isolation and decadent intoxication. The inspiration may seem a little trivial, but if you consider the target audience the biggest issues for them are often some of these ideas that appear in day to day life without taking into account the larger picture. Don't delude yourself, although the band were still teenagers when they wrote this the concepts of the songs come across as mature and developed.
Instrumentally the rookie talent bears its teeth with simplistic song composition. It's an enjoyable overall sound that touches on alternative rock drawing influence from faster paced pop punk with a pinch of Seattle grunge intertwined with the six string. The album could have benefited from further guitar layering; dubbing, which would give a fuller sound that they achieved on their later sophomore release Horrorscope. Instead, the guitarist implies the use of chorus and delay guitar pedal effects liberally. The self titled effort contains a small handful of guitar solo's and a few weak attempts which could be labeled the same. A couple of the more sophisticated ones are disappointingly mediocre at best. Songs are comprised primarily of simple chords that accent the great vocals. The bass guitar and drums have a couple stand out moments throughout the whole record. When the simple snare beat is compressed to amplify and isolate it and the bass is on the top volume layer with a little quick ska guitar underneath the volume of the drum beat, reminiscent of California dub music. One of moments is used as an interlude and in another song during the bridge. That's the only time the bass and drums standout and it's very brief. Usually they lack ambition and just propel the songs along without drawing attention away from the lyrics which come shining through.
Clocking in at just over 38 minuets and 11 songs, they pour it on full throttle but run low on gas and coast most of the way on the latter half of the album. There isn't really an awful tune on the record just some noticeable lost star power that that was built upon. The latter half is not all without highlights, the trio perks up with the smashingly speedy commonly used punk power cord guitar driven 'Open Road Song'. 'Superhero Girl' is another fan favorite with its anthemic nature. The self titled debut by Eve 6 is a powerful release and still holds relevancy ten years later. Give it a chance and you might end up liking it more than I give it credit for.