Let’s talk about Eve 6.
Earnestly. Unironically. With love in our hearts.
Before we get to their newest album Hyper Relevisation (we’ll get to that later on. I promise) I wanna dig in on Grim Value. And just the Eve 6 revival in general.
You’ve probably heard their 1998 alternative rock smash hit “Inside Out” at some point in your life. It’s the kind of ubiquitous hit single that slides into playlists beside earworms like Harvey Danger’s “Flagpole Sitta”, Wheatus’s “Teenage Dirtbag” and Third Eye Blind’s “Semi-Charmed Life”. You proudly wore your Eve 6 fly-logo t-shirt to class and were relentlessly teased by a guy called “E. Matthew” who spent his time listening to Money Mark and Bran Van 3000
Or maybe you’re younger than I am (likely) and your introduction to Eve 6 was on the dance floor at your prom, your head nestled against the person you thought was your forever as “Here’s To The Night” washed over you.
Less likely, though not impossible, you first heard of Eve 6 on the radio when “Think Twice” off their severely underrated album It’s All In Your Head was a thing. Maybe you even thumped your chest proudly for owning such a heavy record.
I refuse to believe their 2012 comeback album Speak In Code was anyone’s gateway drug to things Eve 6. But holy shit “Situation Infatuation”.
If you’ve thought about Eve 6 in the the past… I dunno… 20 years, there’s a good chance it’s been because you read a re-share of one of frontman Max Collin’s incisive tweets. Between 2020 and 2022 you could expect an opinionated, often-snarky, always-clever bit of commentary from the @eve6 account. All of this has been covered by websites more important than this one. And this joyful collaboration happened. But just like that, Eve 6 was back in the public eye. Or at the very least, the watchful eye of internet nerds.
And I like to think that these events led to Grim Value. A 5-song EP of brand new music 9 years after album #4 (which arrived 9 years after album #3) arriving via Velocity Records on CD, cassette and vinyl (in a variety of colours) in June of 2021.
So what does Grim Value bring to the table?
The first track “Black Nova” is pretty standard-fare Eve 6: a big-hook, some wordplay and Collins’ affection for rhyming big words on display. The following four are variations on the wacky/absurd/endearing love song cliche. “I Wanna Bite Your Face” and “Can We Combine” standing out from the bunch.
The throughline for Grim Value is the breezy feel of it all. Past Eve 6 albums have been pretty slick, sometimes verging on overproduced (looking at you, Horrorscope) What we have here is the sound of a band free from constraints, free from expectations and free from themselves. There’s no attempt on this record to recapture “Inside Out” or “Here’s To The Night”. Just a couple grown-ass men breaking away from a legacy that they established as literal teenagers and making the music that they want to make. The tunes are catchy, the sound is lo-fi (by Eve 6 standards) and it all feels fresh.
I doubt this EP will bring as many converts as the first couple albums did. But to the loyal masses who picked this thing up, it’s a long-awaited greeting card from an old friend with exciting new stories to share.
One more thing. Just because I love this. Some copies were shipped with the wrong version of Track 5 “Good For You” included. i.e. sans vocals. Turning lemons into lemonade, the band issued an open invitation to anyone who received a copy to record their own version, with original lyrics and melody. The contest winner – this – was released on Eve 6’s Bandcamp page correctly titled “Good For You (better version)”. It rips.