In the shadows of such widely emulated Washington post-hardcore outfits as Fugazi and Rites of Spring, how does a similarly inclined local band establish its identity? For A Day in Black and White, the answer is: Don't worry about it and just play.

"Notes," the quartet's first full-length release, features such familiar components as roaring guitars, hollered vocals, lyrical asides and stop-start rhythms, yet it doesn't follow the styles of the city's punk icons as closely as does the music of scores of out-of-town imitators.

As might be expected, A Day in Black and White has a tight ensemble sound. So it's remarkable that the album was apparently recorded when the lineup was in transition, with singer-guitarist Daniel Morse the only musician who appears on all 11 tracks. The quartet is supplemented by members of Navies, including bassist Mike Petillo, who became part of the permanent roster, yet the sound of such representative howlers as "New Energy" and "Nothing Is Nothing" is never less than cohesive and robust.

A Day in Black and White may not be establishing its own tradition, but it kicks hard enough to free itself from anyone else's.

Mark Jenkins

Appearing Wednesday at the Warehouse Next Door with Hot Cross, Circle Takes the Square, Gospel and Transistor Transistor.

A Day in Black and White has stepped out of the shadows of other Washington bands such as Fugazi.