Evil Jake

Be My Ex-Girlfriend

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

New York City's Evil Jake are that great bar band that everybody rooted for in college. You can taste the dollar drafts, and feel the peanuts crunch under your boots while listening to their first full-length record. Be My Ex-Girlfriend is a snarly, rootsy, middle finger pointed at the slick, over-produced material championed by so-called rock radio. Principal songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Mike Jacobs leads the group through 13 tracks filled with jilted lovers, lovable losers, and enough hooks to land a whale. As a vocalist, he delivers a literate, blue-collar croon that straddles the line between Andy Partridge's theatrics and Paul Westerberg's sincerity, especially on songs like "She's So Lonely," and the bluesy "Kiss or Kill." As a band, Evil Jake bring to mind early alt rock groups, like Too Much Joy and the Pursuit of Happiness, but they maintain a singular vision on riff-heavy monsters like "Everything She Wants," and "Everything You'd Never Want to Be" -- the latter must blow a fuse when played live -- and the cleverly mapped out title track. Drummer Paul Campanella contributes two solid songs, especially the beautiful closer, "Smile," which displays a tight unit who are unafraid to step out from behind their amps. While the record itself takes a few songs to build momentum, Be My Ex-Girlfriend is a worthy addition to the canon of post-collegiate pub rock. The group, as a whole, seem bereft of pretension, and appear to be more than willing to play a song or two past last call.

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