Here Today, a local rock quartet, recently returned from New York City where it cut a 12-inch, three-song EP that sounds for all the world like an import from some despairing European art-rock band.

If the EP's purpose was simply to document the band's stylistic bent, it certainly has succeeded. The group's guitar and synthesizer tracks are consistently evocative, suggesting numerous art-rock standard- bearers -- from early Bowie to Bauhaus -- as well as homegrown talent with somewhat similar interests, such as the Urban Verbs. The lyrics, too, are suitably ponderous, as in this dreary slice of life from "In the Maze":

In the maze I'm caught

A human commodity sold and bought

Wound up like animal entrails

Bound up like human brains

Wallowing in these solemn games. Cheerful stuff, this.

Here Today could hardly be faulted for reflecting its weighty influences. However, what the band has yet to do -- judging by this first record, at least -- is establish its own identity and direction. Until that time, Here Today, despite obvious musical and recording promise, will simply be echoing the sound of better-known bands. HERE TODAY -- "Here Today" (Kat Records 1983). Appearing Saturday at 10 and midnight at the 9:30 Club.