Ex Models – Zoo Psychology

3 out of 5

Label: Frenchkiss Records

Produced by: Martin Bisi (recorded and mixed by)

Shahin Motia’s obsession with sex as an animalistic exchange, and the dumbly lewd song titles – Fuck To the Music, Hott 4 Discourse – are enough to peg Ex Models as the kind of thing that’s appealing in high school or college, but rather groanworthy thereafter; their leaning heavy into the no-wave shtick of confrontation and discordance but without much substance, as well as having three or so go-nowhere “instrumental” tracks (read: the group playing around) on a 20 minute disc, can add a layer of annoyance on to things.

But then, enough times, the group gets its shit together, dispenses with the forced weirdness, and kicks out some full-steam ahead noise punk, like the opener, or Brand New Panties, and you get a hot flash of a group that could really have been quite something without the distraction of being part of a skronk scene.

The short runtime means you can zip through the disc easily enough, several times over, and there are enough of those rocking moments to carry momentum through the forced herky-jerk stuff, such that you start to get a feel for it over time.  Helping things out is the way the group very much focused on a crunchy lowend, pumped up by Martin Bisi’s recording, which gives even the wankiest stuff a dash of hardcoreness.

More focused than their last disc, but still mostly lacking in a standout sense of identity.