Ex-Models – Other Mathematics

Other Mathematics

On the Ace Fu Records web site, there is a black-and-white photo collage of the Ex-Models with the words “This is not a rock band” superimposed over it. Regardless of classifications or intents, Other Mathematics does indeed rock in a major way.
The Ex-Models are certainly the current poster children for brevity, however, as this 13-track release clocks in at under 25 minutes. Taking into consideration that two tracks actually break the two-minute mark while two others break the respective three and four-minute barriers, what you’ve basically got here is a solid collection base of rockin’ 80-second freakouts.
Now, granted, there’s not a ton of completely individual material here. Tracks like “It’s On Television,” “Rock & Roll Simulator,” and “Love Japanese Style” could easily blend together into one big mass of off-beat interplay-guitar madness. Thankfully, the band knows when to change things around to keep the disc interesting. “Girlfriend is Worse” runs along a gleefully toned-down guitar lick, with small guitar bursts lashing out and framing the declaration that “I hate my body.”
“The Birth of Disneyland,” the disc’s three minute track, is a solid display of how completely effective tasteful guitar interplay with a simple rhythm section can be. “Other Mathematics” is another cool off-kilter display of nifty guitar work that features a few cool interludes of guitar parts that create the image of something falling endlessly. “Objects and Relations” raises its head as a particularly brooding track, based on the solid bassline and disconcerting one-note guitar piece that segues to loud and back again.
It’s the album’s last track, the four-minute epic “The Mechanic,” that really stands out though. One guitar screams Pere Ubu’s “Street Waves” while the other perfectly echoes Quicksand’s “Fazer,” creating a great feeling of tension until both guitars give up on the separate-but-equal trip and begin to mesh together, creating a slow and powerful ending to an already forceful disc.
Well, fans of the Dischord and “DC” sound will absolutely love Other Mathematics, though others probably won’t be as easily swayed. Still, the Ex-Models pack an impressive display of guitar bravado here – especially for a group of folks that don’t consider themselves to be a rock band. Recommended.