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Pretty Girls Make Graves made their name with guitar duels until one of their guitarists, Nathan Thelen, up and quit. Rather than replace him, PGMG hired keyboardist Leona Marrs, who fills the gaps in the band’s new songs with anemic two-fingered synth lines. Such a lineup shift might have been a death knell for a weaker group, but PGMG’s core quartet is one of the most proficient in punk rock, and Marrs’ simplistic contributions actually allow the players new ways to show off their talents. The group’s complex rhythmic attack has been streamlined, but PGMG has kept sharp by injecting new genres into the usual slash-and-burn: Dub, New Wave, and restrained left-coast pop now pepper the furious style that the band was once known for. PGMG’s new record, Elan Vital, may only scrape the heights the group has reached in the studio, but whenever frontwoman Andrea Zollo slathers on her riotous yelp, it makes for first-tier rock ’n’ roll. See Pretty Girls Make Graves play with Giant Drag and the Joggers at 8:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $13. (202) 667-7960. (Doug Tye)