Eve 6 channels golden days of punk on ‘Grim Value’ 

Photo of Eve6 record
Velocity Records/Courtesy

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Grade: 4.5/5.0

Eve 6 may be most well known for the smash hit “Inside Out,” but the band has much more to it than just radio-friendly ‘90’s nostalgia. The group has not only released multiple quality albums, but has also recently revamped its Twitter presence with hilariously scathing alternative music bashing and general tomfoolery. On its latest release, EP Grim Value, Eve 6 proves that it still rocks as hard as it did more than 20 years ago and that it’s clearly still having a great time doing what everyone wants it to do: make good, new music. Grim Value, the band’s first release since 2012’s Speak in Code, is an ode to quintessential punk and all the fast-paced, raw anger the genre is known for with elements of humor that make the EP unique to the Eve 6 brand.

With all song titles as well as the EP name stylized in lowercase, Grim Value is a simple, no-holds-barred piece of music. It’s pure punk and nothing else, and that’s the beauty of it. The record doesn’t have any frills or unnecessary bells and whistles that would complicate the stripped-down, pointed nature of the songs. The five-song EP is a mere 13 ½ minutes long, but every second is of excellent quality.

“Black Nova” sets the tone for the album with a killer bassline and immediately unlocks memories of old school punk. Lead singer Max Collins’ stilted voice is in the same vein as Jello Biafra’s of the Dead Kennedys. The distorted power chords and nonchalance surrounding the song highlight its carefree and unbothered nature as well as of Grim Value as a whole. “And you know/ It only takes one time to get you/ And you know/ When death comes to fetch you,” Collins sings with a blase tone.

In classic punk tradition, Eve 6 has included angry, abrasive love songs such as “I Wanna Bite Your Face” and “Good for You.” “I Wanna Bite Your Face” is aggressive yet tender with lines such as, “I love you too much/ I wanna run you over” and “I wanna share underwear with you.” The song is sarcastic and funny, yet has relatable truth embedded into it — apart from the underwear line. “Good for You” is full of angsty yearning, a simple and straightforward tune that declares its name to a tee. Collins’ droning voice is interrupted by moments of intensity during the chorus, keeping the song from feeling too one-note.

“Can We Combine” takes a slightly darker turn but is still a cute (to use the term loosely) and somewhat desolate song about getting together with someone who doesn’t make you entirely hate existence. Collins also brings in the good-natured Strokes slander that he has pioneered on the band’s Twitter page through lines such as, “I like your jokes, that you hate Thе Strokes, can we combine?” His voice borders on screaming at points throughout the song, driving home the desperation the track centers around.

“Angel of the Supermarket” is a hyperrealistic and absurd song about finding the love of your life in none other than the produce aisle. You may wonder how one goes about making a ridiculous song about anything having to do with shopping for groceries — The Clash has done this already with “Lost in the Supermarket.” However, instead of taking the route of the innocent shopper, Eve 6 turns an ordinary encounter into a punk rock Cinderella story. “Put a potato in your pocket/ Shoplifted the shit out of it, angel of the supermarket,” croons Collins, a lyric of chortle-worthy proportions. 

Grim Value feels ripped right out of the ‘90s, as if Eve 6 hasn’t aged one bit. The EP is the perfect length to be just punchy enough and a wild ride back in time. Combining sharp, witty lyrics with tried-and-true distorted guitars, heavy bass and minimalist song structure, Eve 6 has captured the essence of punk in the modern day and age. Grim Value is not only for listeners’ ears, but also the spirit inside them that lives and breathes the poetic bluntness of good old-fashioned punk.

Pooja Bale covers music. Contact her at [email protected]. Tweet her at @callmepbj.