Ex Models | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Space usually denotes minimalism, but the Ex Models use it as punctuation--the comma before each barrage of prickly, dissonant prose. The New York quartet pop-locks in and out of aggressive, sexually frustrated grooves to a choppy beat bashed out by drummer Jake Fiedler. Guitarists Shahin and Shah Motia (who are brothers) rile each other up, cross-pollinating their thin but cacophonous through-lines, and then spontaneously disintegrate into a crabby silence, only to start all over again. They're thrifty with sound in general, compressing most songs into careening two-minute panic attacks a la Arab on Radar (RIP). On their latest, Zoo Psychology (Frenchkiss), rhythm is king; even singer Shahin shrieks and gibbers on cue, eschewing tonality (and coherence or eloquence) for the sake of the pulse. Sheer quantity makes it hard to stay excited about the new wave of no-wave funk punk, but these boys are among the cream of the coup. Wednesday, October 29, 8 PM, Fireside Bowl, 2646 W. Fullerton; 773-486-2700.

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