Ex-Boyfriends’ unyielding passion for power pop can be regarded in the same way the characters on Seinfeld would treat the two gay members of the band: with a casual “not that there’s anything wrong with that…” As in, there’s nothing particularly wrong with worshipping shiny formula pop, but the San Francisco power trio’s debut album only gets it right about half the time. They seem to know their way around a tight hook, a rock-out chorus, and any of the other easy-to-love pop staples. But mostly, Dear John is filled with truly unforgivable lyrics set to generic, stale music that sounds like it’s been sitting out on the counter since 1998. The band obviously knows how to have fun, but no amount of handclaps and harmonies is going to save you when you sound as clichéd as an opening act for the Foo Fighters. It’s that simple middle school math lesson that the Exes seem to have missed — formulas are fine, you just have to know how to use them.