Following a nine-year hiatus, Speak in Code picks up where California trio Eve 6 left off, or possibly earlier than when they left off. The band's fourth studio album follows three albums of insanely hooky radio-friendly pop-punk made between 1998 and 2003. While time has passed and all the kids who listened to Eve 6 in college have done some significant growing up, the band itself seems to have stayed almost exactly the same, reaching further back into the playfully naïve anthems of its debut, updating its style and world-view only ever so slightly. Lighthearted juvenilia and reckless abandon saturate the album, much as on earlier outings. Lyrics sincerely address their subject as "dawg" or "bro" between casual references to Coldplay, body shots, or L.A. cokeheads with endangered cats for pets. Singer Max Collins outs his age on "Situation Infatuation" when he sings "I was named for a saint, 1978." The sophomoric tone of much of the album makes this line a little hard to fathom. Also still going strong is the band's radio-ready alternative pop sound. Gigantic production values, triumphant choruses, and cheeky-but-affable lyrics make almost every song on Speak in Code sound tailor-made for romantic comedy soundtracks, or maybe college humor soundtracks, depending on how many references to partying or pop culture get dropped. These factors often outshine any growth or subtlety that may have happened in Eve 6's world in the almost decade between albums. There's some flirtation with synth pop, be it the robo-grooves and Gary Numan-esque backing vocals of "Downtown" or the textural keyboards and vocoder on "Victoria." The buzzsaw bassline and dissonant guitar of the first few strains of "Curtain" sound like the band just got really into Gang of Four before it shifts into more formulaic radio fodder. Eve 6 again worked with producer Don Gilmore, whose radio-ready sound graced their first two (and most commercially successful) albums. The end result is a somewhat timeless record of Hollywood-toned alternative fare with extremely faded roots in punk, not too unlike any other of the band's endeavors. Nine years passed between this album and the last, but it could have been nine days. The lack of progress isn't really an issue. Fellow pop-punk brats blink-182 have fallen flat when branching out creatively with stylistically divergent side projects, and Eve 6's 2003 album It's All in Your Head strayed from the band's feel-good formula just enough to see it sell a fraction of what their other records did. The in-the-moment party tunes and sentimental alt-ballads on Speak in Code are as unremarkably predictable and insidiously catchy as any from their early days. When a band is concerned with little more than big dumb fun like Eve 6 is, not fixing what ain't broke is the way to go.