Friday Mixtape: Eve 6

Photo: Ben Zvan

IT’S FRIDAY!!!!

That means it’s time for the Friday Mixtape. There is no tape and no mix, just 3 tracks from a single artist. Hope this skates you into the weekend! Today I bring you:

Eve 6

Who They Are: Pop-punk trio from La Crescenta, California. “SoCal is where my mind states, but it’s not my state of mind.” –“Inside Out,” Eve 6 (1998)

Max Collins – frontman: lead vocals, bass
Jon Siebels
– guitar, backing vocals
Tony Fagenson
– drums, backing vocals

Why I Love Them (and Why You Should Too): Like most, my intro to Eve 6 involved the infectious, tongue-twisting “Inside Out”, a song that propelled their 1998 self-titled debut to platinum status before the boys were even—(as they state in their official bio)—“of legal drinking age.” They signed with RCA records while still in high school. As such, most of Eve 6’s discography involves a teenaged boy’s priorities: gettin’ laid and gettin’ in trouble. Their much anticipated sophomore effort, Horrorscope (2000), became mad love for me just as I was graduating from high school. Never one for feminism, the band does speak honestly and earnestly about what it means to be a dude. Despite its takeover as the Prom anthem of 2001, Horrorscope’s gorgeous third single “Here’s to the Night” refuses romance for a one-night stand; album opener “Rescue” discusses hooking up with that irresistible slutty girl; and “On the Roof Again” tells the tale of a friend who needs to get over the bitchy ex he cheated on. While I was more tolerant of debauchery and braggadocio at 17, I still find myself singing along to Max’s messy, testosterone-fueled truth. In some ways, blink-182 isn’t half as bald-faced about being “young and horny” as this band is. (And yes, that is an actual lyric off Eve 6’s third album, It’s All in Your Head.)

Part of why I love them is their growth. Unlike other bands who insist on a Peter Pan persona in their mid-40s (I’m lookin’ at you, NOFX), Eve 6 explores darker territory in 2003’s It’s All in Your Head, and it’s clear there’s been some learning. Becoming a rockstar as a teen didn’t stop Max from living the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, which led partially to the need for the band’s breakup-turned-hiatus in 2004. (Not selling enough copies of the more mature It’s All in Your Head didn’t help either.) As such, their latest album, 2012’s Speak in Code, wrestles with sobriety and the insecurities of marriage. In some ways, I see Eve 6 as a poppier Third Eye Blind: thematically, sex isn’t just the bewitching meeting of bodies; it’s a gritty conflict of power (see “Showerhead” and “Hey Montana”.)

Check it out:

“Open Road Song”:

Besides “Jesus Nitelite,” this is my hands-down favorite song off their debut. My fave lyric changes by the day; this song perfectly encapsulates so many nights during my suburban adolescence. My freshman year of college I would return to the dorm, sink into my roommate’s beanbag and turn this shit WAAAY the fuck up.

The song also demonstrates the repetition and wordplay that is Max’s signature:

“With every turn comes a new frame of mind/If I could frame my mind/where would it hang?”

“I search for comfort and I find it where I found it many times before/Times before can be forgotten.”

And my fave:

“I crack a window and feel the cool air cleanse my every pore/As I pour my poor heart out.”

Until this video, I never realized how perfect this song is for a band on tour. Rawk!

“Friend of Mine”:

An acoustic version of a poignant power ballad from their third album: Eve 6 grows up.

“Jet Pack”:

Love the 3-part structure in this song off Horrorscope. In high school I tried to find blue lipstick so I could be the chick on the cover for Halloween. ’Cause—let’s face it—she is both the “animated vixen” in “Rescue” and the “Superhero Girl” with a secret.

Eve 6’s latest single “Victoria” indicates a new direction; not crazy about its danciness, but I am interested in hearing all of Speak in Code. Eve 6 is on tour throughout the US for the next few weeks; go see them. Bon weekend!

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