"There is no inspiration," begins "It's on Television," "only calculation." While the song may be an attack on the boob tube, or considering the rest of the lyrics, a dissection of a personal relationship, it's tempting to regard it a confession of the band's approach to music. Their angular sound could be considered a crafty synthesis of several post-punk, post-rock, and new wave bands. For example, "It's Only Television" resembles the Contortions (circa No New York) with Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh as the lead vocalist; "Girlfriend Is Worse" evokes Talking Heads (which is probably an intentional homage, considering the song's title); and "Rock & Roll Simulator" is somewhat reminiscent of Richard Hell. There are several other bands who may come to people's minds while listening to this album (e.g., Wire, Coachmen, Shellac, and Arab on Radar), but, of course, every group has their influences. What matters most is that Ex Models have crafted a sound that's very entertaining in its self-consciously abrasive way. The fidgety dual guitars, twisting time signatures, and staccato vocals should appeal to many fans of the bands listed above, while the short length of their songs (nine last less than two minutes) ensure that listeners won't get bored. Although the lyrics tend to address interpersonal relationships (as well as other topics, such as theme parks and rock music), it's not surprising that they seem even more calculated than the music. The language is deliberately stilted and mechanical (literally in the case of "The Mechanic," which appears to compare a woman to a car); perhaps the band is referring to this when they sing that "this writing is automatic." Intentionally awkward word combinations such as "scandals hide the strategy, resurrect reality, simulate morality" fit well with the band's robotic sound, although it is sometimes difficult to figure out exactly what the words really mean. Of course, this obliqueness is probably just part of the band's strategy. Thankfully, they manage to pull it off without sounding too pretentious. Indeed, they're so good at this that they may be inspired after all.
|Label:||Ace Fu Records|
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i want to hear the album so i know that i want to buy it