Ex Models | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


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.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →