Evolving from a garage punk band in the vein of the Replacements, Dinosaur Jr., and Mudhoney to a literate, pretentious, soul-inflected post-punk quartet, the Afghan Whigs were one of most critically acclaimed alternative bands of the early '90s. Although the band never broke into the mainstream, it developed a dedicated cult following, primarily because of lead singer/songwriter Dulli's tortured, angst-ridden tales of broken relationships and self-loathing. Signed to the major-label Elektra, the band released Gentlemen one year later; "Debonair," the first single, received major play from MTV, and all of the reviews were positive. Nevertheless, the band wasn't able to ascend above cult status, and the critical praise even engendered a backlash. The band called it quits in February 2001, citing geographical separation.