Eve 6 had one of those Cinderella beginnings that magazine writers love to exploit. The Los Angeles high-school power-pop trio was signed to RCA long before graduation but was told to first finish high school and work at writing more songs before the label would release an album or put them on the road.
Child labor issues aside, the story was floated to journalists before release of the group's self-titled debut, which went platinum, based on the major success of the single "Inside Out" and the recognizable voice of lead singer-bassist Max Collins. The disc wasn't perfect but revealed real potential.
The circle continues to be drawn with Horrorscope, a rousing, driving smack in the face of all things pop, punk, and hard rock. Eve 6 which, along with Collins, includes guitarist-vocalist Jon Siebels and drummer Tony Fagenson is carving out a niche for itself more polished than the Replacements or Ramones and more intelligent than its genitalia-obsessed brethren, Blink-182.
The rock histrionics are at a minimum, and as a result, many of the songs sound musically similar, but Collins' lyrics are smart, and his vocal wordplay is sharp. The disc's first single, "Promise," is making waves on radio and has primed the pump for another, likely more robust, run of singles over the next few months. Standout track "On the Roof Again" tells the story of Leroy and his painful love life. With its pounding Shakespearean couplets, it's a storytelling classic like "The River," updated for a more cynical generation.
Collins has wisdom beyond his years. On "Nocturnal," he sings hopeful, delicate words to a partner: "Let the fighting words lie/ Let the candlelight die/ Let the sun come up/ Let the saline dry." While just entering his 20s, he doesn't have all, or even most, of the answers to the questions of relationships, but he certainly understands the painful side of love.
Eve 6 hasn't created a masterpiece with Horrorscope, but it's got plenty of time to do so. What Collins, Siebels, and Fagenson have provided instead is an outlet for those teens and other music fans who walk a more balanced path than the sugar of Britney or the darkness of Korn. No mean feat these days.