Where Poole's previous albums drove a team of jangling guitars and high harmonies, the band's new "Among Whom We Shine" opens with a song propelled by saxophones. This Northern Virginia quartet hasn't changed its fundamental mode, however. The group still bases its sound on the bright, brisk, tuneful pop-rock of the mid-'60s, giving songs like "Better Off on Yer Own" an irresistible elan. Singer, drummer and principal songwriter Harv Evans (who co-produced the album with Poole guitarist William Campbell) is more interested in sound than sense, which can lead to empty rhymes: "I never thought it would be easy/ I'm sure you've noticed I can be a little sleazy," he sings in the exuberant title song. Musically, though, the album is anything but sleazy. In fact, it is Poole's most consistent effort, expanding the band's sonic palette with contributions by a dozen outside musicians (including strings, chimes and a female vocalist on the lushly retro "Anyway") without ever seeming forced or overdone. The album's hooks recall everyone from Bachman-Turner Overdrive ("You're on Top") to Kenickie ("Never Sad Again"), but the way they're deployed is consistently lively and fresh. Appearing Friday at the Black Cat with Smart Bomb and Power Lloyd. To hear a free Sound Bite from Poole, call Post-Haste at 202/334-9000 and press 8127. (Prince William residents, call 690-4110.)