Ex-Boyfriends

In With

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Possibly the most straightforward band ever signed by the art-quirk indie Absolutely Kosher Records, the Ex-Boyfriends are fundamentally a power pop trio, complete with a taste for matching on-stage attire and love songs about people one suspects the singer is too shy in real life to ever actually speak to. (In the band's one major break with power pop tradition, the songs are mostly about other boys, as the opening "Pick Up Line" makes pointedly clear.) Tongue in cheek that's occasionally on the verge of just plain silly, In With is a good-humored collection of sweet and sour pop tunes with a mildly punky edge and a strong line in lyrics about frustrated romance. A bit of a new wave feel creeps into several songs, especially "Situation," which is based on an early-XTC-like rigid, trebly guitar riff and exceedingly Andy Partridge-inspired lead vocal. Collector alert: Absolutely Kosher released In With with three separate album covers, each featuring a bandmember acting out a scenario from the old board game Clue.

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