Friday, February 01, 2008

Love In October - Pontus, The Devil, And Me



Love In October
The Pontus, The Devil And Me (The Musik Group, 2008)
Grade: B+

Download: Love In October - "Circa 1989"

In our current atmosphere of instant nostalgia, where television shows dedicated to reminiscing about the pop culture happenings of last week (just in case you forgot) are most popular amongst viewers, it can be hard to differentiate between songwriters who are actually wistful amongst about instances in their past and those who are merely playing into the 21st century’s insistence that anything in one’s personal life that’s vaguely remarkable is worth writing about. This is especially the case with emo and pop-punk, both of which which started off as the sensitive, more melodic, spawns of hardcore punk but now have mutated to the point where nth generation sub-Morrissey witticisms pass as lyrics and songs are dominated by generic, uninspiring hooks.

So it’s no small feat at all then that Love In October have created an utterly engaging indie-cum-pop-punk album in Pontus, The Devil, And Me. Starting off with a rainstorm clean minor-seventh chords (by god, someone’s been listening to jazz!) before erupting into a Moog-enhanced roar of anthemic power-chords, “Circa 1989” is about singer’s Erik Warden’s childhood in Sweden. However, the navel-gazing is kept to a minimum because of the simple and direct nature of the lyrics. Though Pontus has its share of schmaltz (“Song 11”), Love In October manage to cram enough diverse elements (”Vi Gar Til Stranden”, sung entirely in Swedish) and crafty songwriting (“Oh, The Truth” features a jaunty bass line, flutes, and a doo-wop-as-done-by-Weezer chorus) to make one forget about the likes of Fall Out Boy and Good Charlotte. Well, almost.

Love In October MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

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