Performer Magazine's Review of In With
August 9, 2008
Ex-Boyfriends - In With
Recorded, engineered, mixed and mastered by Aaron Hellam at Castle Ultimate Studios in Oakland, CA Produced by Aaron Hellam and Ex-Boyfriends

Staying true to their successful power-pop attack, San Francisco's Ex-Boyfriends have returned with In With, a punch-in-the-ears journey of a sophomore album. Starting off on an up-tempo note, the record demands attention from its listener, and once in command, it reveals plenty of peaks and valleys to keep a good balance in the soundscape.

"Situation" garners attention for its guitar hooks and softly-echoed vocals. What begins with a slightly alt-punk sounding guitar pulse gives way to supporting bass. It's slightly Cure-ish, slightly Smiths-ish, but so much more optimistic musically - even if the actual lyrics are dissonant with lines like, "Evidence has shown / We've seen this all before / Your cover's been blown / And we expected so much more ... It's over / A forgotten situation."

Halfway through comes "Breathe Without Breaking," a break-up anthem for the relationships that have run long past their expiration dates. The vocals are catchy, the guitars stay energetic, and the chorus is perfect in balancing the overall sound. Again very reminiscent of The Smiths, especially in the chorus where "The envy of / The boys and the girls / You're the saddest boy / oh in the world " lies nestled between verses. Yet rather than trying to be Morrissey, they borrow his style and infuse it with some Ex-Boyfriends spunk, using such solid building blocks for the foundation of their own sound.

The final track on In With is perfectly placed; it's slow, relaxing and just as its title suggests, says "Goodnight." The repetitious guitar chords put the listener into a lullabyed trance as lamenting, hopeful vocals float through a melody full of emotion: "Everything will always work out / Goodnight / Will they see the dreams that we hide / Goodnight / Funny how I'm always right." (Absolutely Kosher Records)

-Krystal Iaeger

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