Since releasing a debut cassette last winter, Phonic Riot has expanded from two members to an ever-changing lineup of four. But the D.C. band isn’t exactly going for more intricacy. The bass adds thrust; a second guitar offers sheet-metal histrionics and little else. And that’s OK: Noisy, shriek-filled, and art-abused, the band seems to inhabit the musical space occupied in the mid-1980s by Sonic Youth. Guitarist and singer Angela Morrish has a Corin Tucker yell that’s strained and spectral but also big, which gives force to words that sometimes evoke feminist poetry and gender theory. She’s a thoughtful lyricist, though she doesn’t write nearly as menacingly as she plays her guitar.
Phonic Riot performs with Trophy Wives and Dark Sea Dream at 9 p.m. at the Velvet Lounge, 915 U St. NW. $8.