WASHINGTON MAY NOT mean punk rock to most locals, but it does to a worldwide coterie of dedicated followers of the sound pioneered by the local "harDCore" label, Dischord.

Actually 7 Seconds, a Reno, Nevada band that even made a pilgrimage to Arlington to record at Dischord's favored studio, can no longer fairly be called followers. The title song of the quartet's accomplished new EP, "Praise," demonstrates an anthemic style more in common with the heroic British sound of bands like U2. The disc's other three tracks don't soar quite so high, but they're all exuberant rockers, each blessed with more melody than many similar bands can marshal for an entire record.

If 7 Seconds has outgrown its Washington phase, on "Shattered Dreams" Justice League seems to be just growing into its. This Southern California quintet is slicker than such influential D.C. bands as Minor Threat -- note the clean Ethan James production and the tidy hard-rock guitar solos -- but the record's spirit, not to mention the song structures and the power-of-positive-thinking lyrics, show the League's debt to hardDCore.

7 SECONDS -- "Praise" (Postive Force 10).

JUSTICE LEAGUE -- "Shattered Dreams" (FBE-010). Both appearing Saturday at the Hung Jury Pub.