Since Teenbeat auteur Mark Robinson is currently based in Boston, it's an apt time for his Arlington-based label to demonstrate that you don't have to be from inside the Beltway to play the Teenbeat sound. The Rondelles formed while its members were attending an Albuquerque high school, but their "The Fox" shows a stylistic kinship with Tuscadero. The trio's second album -- and Teenbeat debut -- evokes the garage-rock era that ended long before singer-bassist Yukiko Moynihan, singer-guitarist Juliet Swango and drummer-organist Oakley Munsen were born.
Simple, playful and catchy, the disc's ten songs also suggest such neo-garage models as Blondie, the Go-Gos and -- when Munsen trades vocals on "Don't the Twist" -- the B-52s. Young love and adolescent fun are among the themes, but the band members don't simply recycle pop-punk commonplaces. The premises of such songs as "Rediscover Fire" and "Pay Attention to Me" are as clever as the melodies are engaging. "The Fox" demonstrates that revitalizing an overfamilar genre requires imagination as much as enthusiasm.
Lots of D.C. post-hardcore bands hit hard, but only a few soar. With their debut album, "Simplicity," the Capitol City Dusters earn a place among that airborne company. As those who've followed the band's singles already know, the Dusters's most anthemic songs are marvels of economy, energy and sheer joy.
This trio's style is not novel, and such tracks as the instrumental "Falling Down Stairs" are as aimlessly knotty as many post-hardcore guitar workouts. Such surging Dusters songs as "Forest Fire" and "Treason," however, revive the communal spirit and adrenaline rush of punk bands that now qualify as long gone, notably the Jam and the Clash. When singer-guitarist Alec Bourgeois (a alumni of early-'90s quartet Severin) calls for listeners of "Seventeen" to "Stand for revolution," he no longer has the Zeitgeist on his side. But the song is so galvanizing that Ben Azzara's martial drum fill seems an entirely convincing call to arms.
Both appearing Friday at the Black Cat with the Mooney Suzuki.
To hear a free Sound Bite from the Rondelles, call Post-Haste at 202/334-9000 and press 8123. For a Sound Bite from the Capitol City Dusters, press 8124. (Prince William residents, call 690-4110.)