This album has been lingering around my iPod for a bit of time now, and I wanted to get a review done by the end of the month. Love In October released this EP on February 8th, and I hate to be more than a few minutes late, so a twenty day lag has been killing me.
The Widman brothers, Erik and Kent, have been making music together for over 15 years. From the days kicking it in their living room somewhere in northern Sweden til now, they’ve had one objective: Making noise…LOUD NOISE!
So I was a bit surprised by their new EP, which does contain some very loud noise, but also finds a good amount of quiet moments. Definitely not a bad surprise, especially when it is so well done.
My favorite song on this release is “Rubix Cube.” It’s definitely on the quiet side of the spectrum, but it’s lyrics are fantastic.
I wrote a story that had no end
a reflection of my life but inside I pretend
I’m 12 and a half and addicted to pills
I’m 12 and a half and addicted to thrills
If my mystery matters to you
Then you are my rubix cube
I’ve said too much
I play like a broken record
And the reason is you
The guitar chord progression and tempo on this particular track reminds me a LOT of Plain White Tee’s “Delilah,” which normally I would say is a bad thing, but it works here. Probably because the lyrics are strong enough to hold up against any kind of music. I might even like it if the song were set against the awful background of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls”/Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok.”
Love In October II was made primarily in Toronto at Chemical Sound Studio in a large live room. I like the idea of recording things live. It’s pure. Sometimes artists can get into a habit of relying on poducers and engineers to tweak things to sound the way they want, and that often leads to an artificial sounding record.
Here on this EP, everything sounds fresh and necessary. There doesn’t seem to be any reliance on fancy computer technology doing pitch-correction and dubbing over things to make it sound a certain way. This version of the music-making process can lead to a recording that isn’t always consistent, but it does feel alive.
One funny thing I found about this EP, and about the band, is that the tracks they recommended to me are the two tracks I liked least. I could definitely see how they might feel that these two tracks, “Desperate” and “Paper Heart” kind of highlight the sound they’re going after. That’s all well and good, but I’m much more interested in how willing the band is to work outiside of their comfort zone and how they will surprise me.
They definitely surprised me with “Rubix Cube,” and also with the opening track “Do You Love Me.” The guitar on “Do You Love Me” is very reminiscent of Nick Zinner (who I think is great) without being a copy of him. It also, for some reason, reminds me of a song by Queens of the Stone Age. I can’t remember the name of it because I’m not a huge fan of Josh Homme, but if you think of it, please comment below and let me know (thanks!).
Love In October II is not a perfect record. However, it is fresh, wholly original, and a really good listen. I would say of the five tracks, I really, really like three of them. The other two are ok, but not nearly as good as the others. That said, I think you would do yourself well to get a copy of this release. It’s a digital only, and can be downloaded here.
Erik Widman – Vocals, Guitar, Synthesizer, Accordion
Kent Widman – Bass, Synthesizer, Percussion
Mike (Ford) Nowak – Drums
Tiffany Almy – Vocals
Christopher Limerinos – Guitar on “Desperate”