|photo: Fearless Records|
“This is about falling flat on your face,” said Eve 6 singer/bassist Max Collins, right before starting “Pick up the Pieces.”
But there was none of that Saturday night at Stinger’s. The melancholy, synth-laden tune is among several standouts on Speak in Code. The rock trio’s solid new studio album is its first in nine years (through OC-based indie label Fearless Records).
During the late ‘90s/early ‘00s, the La Crescenta, Calif. band had several modern rock radio hits in regular rotation locally on KCXX/103.9 FM, as well as KROQ. Its first two CDs went either gold or platinum, but a third one didn’t meet expectations, so Eve 6 split in 2004.
Collins and drummer Tony Fagenson continued to perform live together over the intervening years; lead guitarist Jon Siebels rejoined them in 2011. For Code, the musicians reunited up with producer Don Gilmore, who was also at the helm of successful earliest efforts Eve 6 and Horrorscope.
No stranger to the Inland Empire area of SoCal, Collins asked the Stinger’s crowd if anyone used to go to the Showcase Theatre in Corona. The question was met with a muted reaction and he shrugged it off.
(Back in ’01, I saw Eve 6 play at the former Gotham nightclub, coincidentally located at the other end of the same industrial business complex as Stinger’s)
Eve 6 opened the 75-minute main set with the propulsive, dance rock-leaning “Situation Infatuation,” complete with “whoo hoo” vocals from Collins and Siebels. The first of a half dozen songs culled from Code, it got a welcome response. Major 2000 hit “Promise” prompted fans to pogo along. The crunchy rock of “B.F.G.F. (Best Friend’s Girlfriend),” also went down well.
Collins’ braggart lyrics on the latter tune fit well with his self-deprecating between song banter (reminiscent of Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge, minus the profanity). Their calling card ballad “Here’s to the Night” benefitted from Siebels’ chiming guitar work, while Collins’ solo acoustic turn on “At Least We’re Dreaming” was another highlight.
Elsewhere, current radio track “Victoria” was fun and “Inside Out” proved just as catchy as when the guys were still in their teens.
Eve 6, Stinger’s Bar and Nightclub, San Bernardino, Calif., June 9, 2012
Main set: Situation Infatuation/Promise/Amphetamines/B.F.G.F./Think Twice/Leech/Nightmare/Here’s to the Night/Lost & Found/Curtain/At Least We’re Dreaming/Pick Up the Pieces/Victoria/Tongue Tied/On the Roof Again/Inside Out/Open Road Song