Love In October: 'Petrula The Destroyer'

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Love in October formed in Minneapolis, Minn. hide caption

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Swedish-born brothers Erik and Kent Widman formed Love in October in 2006, after moving to Minneapolis, Minn. The following year, the band released its Words of Sound EP before following it up with the full-length Pontus, the Devil, and Me at the start of 2008. Rounded out by Nik Pfeifer on guitar and Brian Boesen on drums, Love in October is the sort of group that fans of Top 40 pop-punk have longed for. Pontus, the Devil, and Me features the spirited energy, rocking guitars and irresistible hooks of the genre, but with more thoughtful execution and clever songwriting.

The album begins strong with fast, driving drum beats and guitar riffs, along with bursts of synthesizer on the track "Circa 1989." It's a song written by Erik Widman about his time growing up in Sweden. The Widmans' birthplace is paid tribute to later on the album, via the vastly different "Vi Gar Till Stranden." Sung entirely in Swedish, "Vi Gar Till Stranden" is a glimpse into the gentler side of Love in October, and the quiet instrumentation helps to showcase Erik Widman's beautifully yearning vocals.

Where the band fully reveals its talent, though, is on "Petrula the Destroyer," with its fast-paced start and the jarring pounding of low octave piano chords. Just as quickly as it begins, the song transitions into a lighter, cheerier chorus and then jets forward once again, turning "Petrula the Destroyer" into an unexpected roller coaster that, like much of Pontus, the Devil, and Me, travels successfully between multiple pop-rock moods and styles.

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