Take your copy of XTC’s Drums and Wiresand scratch the hell out of it with a paper clip. Now, listen to it in your car CD player. The result should be rather abstract and fragmented, yet achingly melodic. But if you’re too faint of heart to perpetrate such violence on a wholly decent album, you might just consider purchasing one of the two EPs released by Maps & Atlases. The Chicago quartet plays dizzying melodies at speeds fast enough to simulate the decay of your favorite New Wave CDs. But there’s some extra value to the band. In addition to its Swiss-watch precision, fleet fingers, and progressive tendencies, the band also manages to drop a few straight-up power-pop hooks and more than one wistful melody into all of that chirping fretwork.
MAPS & ATLASES PERFORMS WITH NURSES AND RAHIM AT 9 P.M. AT THE BLACK CAT, 1811 14 ST. NW. $10. (202) 667-4490.