Out Magazine Review of Dear John
February 1, 2006
Dear John
Absolutely Kosher Records

by Ari Bendersky

If the band Franz Ferdinand had written 11 songs about a boy named Michael (instead of just one) and they had come from the Bay Area (instead of Glasgow), they might have called themselves Ex-Boyfriends and released Dear John. Fortunately for the actual Ex-Boyfriends, a gay trio from San Francisco, Franz Ferdinand didn't, leaving room for a collection of relationship songs with tight, angular guitars, punctuated drums, and sharp lyrics. With poppy, upbeat songs like "Him for Me" and "Ollie," the boys touch on unrequited lust and playground fantasy, while on the standout track "I'm," Colin Daly sings, "And even if I was everything to you / It still wouldn't be enough to get you through / 'Cause even when it's laid down in front of you / You don't know what to choose." Without trying to rewrite musical history, Ex-Boyfriends have appropriated some of the better aspects of the current postpunk '80s revival, including vocals that riff on both Robert Smith and Morrissey, albeit less mopily. Having already played the small, cool clubs in San Francisco, Ex-Boyfriends could break out, perhaps not into the mainstream but definitely onto the radar of indie music fans across the blogosphere, proving that it really doesn't matter whom you sleep with as long as you can write a catchy tune.

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