When you’re channeling T. Rex and Nuggets as much as the young dudes in Smith Westerns, it helps to have youth on your side. The bratty Chicago upstarts had a hit with their self-titled debut in 2009, touring the U.S. with Girls while still barely out of high school. Having avoided a sophomore slump with January’s Dye It Blonde thanks to golden-baked glam ballads like “Weekend,” Smith Westerns combine blatant Bowie-aping with contemporary teenage ennui as only a band of lovelorn, city-punk longhairs should. There’s plenty of arrogance on tracks like “All Die Young,” which could be grating. But Smith Westerns are young enough to mean it.
SMITH WESTERNS PERFORM WITH UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA AND TENNIS SYSTEM AT 9:30 P.M. AT ROCK & ROLL HOTEL, 1353 H ST. NE. SOLD OUT. (202) 388-7625.