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Eavesdropping on the new post-punk supergroup Hammered Hulls

The punk supergroup Hammered Hulls, clockwise from top left: Chris Wilson, Alec MacKaye, Mary Timony and Mark Cisneros. (Photos by, clockwise from top left, Ingrid Pyne, Peter Hutchins, G.L. Jaguar and Bob Bonehead Planck)

If you spaced on the first Hammered Hulls show back in September, another way to hear the new post-punk supergroup is to lurk outside their 14th Street Heights rehearsal space for roughly 20 minutes before you’re scheduled to meet up for an interview and listen to what comes bleeding through the walls: rhythms that move fast, melodies that move slow, everything muffled, manic and mysterious. Then the door swings open so the quartet can explain what they’ve been up to.

“Our songs started out punk, straight ahead, super Black Flag,” says bassist Mary Timony. “Now they’re getting a lot more complicated, more proggy.”

And they’re coming fast. For the past year, the band has been quietly writing loud songs with an efficiency that only comes with experience. Timony has made plenty of beautiful noise in Helium and Ex Hex; frontman Alec MacKaye’s combustible shout has anchored a legendary sequence of punk groups, including Faith, Ignition and the Warmers; guitarist Mark Cisneros has played in Des Demonas, Deathfix and Medications; and drummer Chris Wilson has kept time for Ted Leo’s Pharmacists and Titus Andronicus.

With a résumé that heavy, people are excited. But even your most educated guess about what this band sounds like might whiff. Because, for the four players involved, everything that transpires inside this rehearsal space remains relatively mystical.

“Even though we know each other so well, we don’t really know what’s going to happen until it’s happening” MacKaye says. “As we’re making these songs, they seem to be assembling themselves.”

Show: Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m., at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Sold out. Jan. 12 at 10 p.m., at Comet Ping-Pong, 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. $12 in advance, $14 at the door.