Though the group has yet to release a full-length CD, the Getaway Car has a reputation and history that make it one of the most promising bands on the area scene.

The band, which consists of lead singer/guitarist Todd Wright, lead guitarist Matt Miceli, bassist Chris Reardon and one of three drummers they choose from among a group of friends, cites the influence of the Beatles, Elvis Costello, Cheap Trick and the Pretenders. The band's songs are solid, catchy rock tunes sure to please fans of radio stalwarts such as Matchbox 20 and Maroon 5 (and even bands without numerical references).

The Getaway Car sings about life's trials and romantic misfortunes but keeps the tone light with a sense of gentle humor and Miceli's strong guitar leads. He claims a "summa cum loud" graduate degree from the School of Rock, having studied the styles of Jimi Hendrix, Queen's Brian May and U2's the Edge.

The Getaway Car's origins date back more than a decade to another band that Wright and Miceli fronted, the Excentrics, a favorite of the Northern Virginia club scene. That band released three albums: 1999's "Perfect Nervous Breakdown," 1995's "Insult to Injury" and 1993's "Why the Long Face."

In 2002, Wright and Miceli gathered new players, named the result the Getaway Car and immediately recorded a demo in New York.

A few of the songs made their way to local radio station WHFS-FM (99.1) and landed the group a slot at the 2003 HFStival at RFK Stadium, where bands such as Audioslave, Blur and Jane's Addiction performed. Another song, "Superstar," was licensed for use in a Pontiac Vibe commercial, giving it national exposure.

The Car spent most of last year working on its forthcoming debut CD but took a break to record and release a four-song offering, "NYC EP."

Working with See No Sun Distribution, the group offers the EP via download from its Web site, www.thegetawaycar.net. The upcoming full-length CD is mostly self-produced and will be mixed by Jeff Juliano, who has worked on albums for Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Dave Matthews, Ben Folds Five and David Gray.

In the meantime, the Car team keeps busy helping other musicians. Wright has spent a large part of the summer on the road with the Pat McGee Band, providing keyboards and backup vocals, and was a major studio presence (bass, drums, guitars, vocals and programming) on "A Little Mint," the new debut EP by local singer Jessi Canning.

In its official bio, the Getaway Car states this goal: "To burn rubber all over a cookie-cutter rock landscape." Skilled musicians, talented writers and driven, ahem, performers, they provide a sweet ride.

-- MARIANNE MEYER

Jammin' Java is at 227 Maple Ave. E. in Vienna. The Max Fisher Band will open the show. The venue offers wine and beer, snacks and sandwiches, chili and a wide selection of coffee drinks. Admission, open to all ages, is $8, and reservations can be made by calling 703-255-1566. The Web site is www.jamminjava.com.

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Todd Wright, from left, Dan Garvin, Chris Reardon and Matt Miceli of the Getaway Car. The band will perform Sunday.