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Poor Ian Svenonius: Having spent the past decade or so as D.C. punk’s permanent Ian-in-waiting, he seems destined to spend his twilight years waiting some more—for the fickle finger of fate to fulfill the destiny predicted by Sassy magazine so many moons ago. And that’s a pity, because alone among his D.C. contemporaries, Svenonius possesses the wit, the poise, and the glamour to become a bona fide rock star. Sure, Nation of Ulysses and the Make*Up are history, and Weird War was a wart on the face of God, but is Ian S. ready to give up the Holy Ghost? Hell, no: The White-Belted One’s got a brand new schtick called the Scene Creamers, and their debut, I Suck on That Emotion, is something to behold. With guitarist Alex Minoff showing off some great fuzz riffs and bassist-guitarist Michelle Mae providing cool vocals (especially on the excellent “Bag Inc.”), the disc indicates that the Creamers have been listening to America’s premiere garage outfit, the Kiss Offs. For his part, Svenonius has written a nifty bunch of tongue-in-cheek lyrics, poking fun at session players, art students, and Lou Reed, among others. “Here Comes the Judge—Part II” (“Here come the judge, part two/I don’t like what I see when I’m lookin’ at you”) and “Housework for 3” (“Housework for three/Nice work if you’re the one that’s/In between”) are marvels of cast-off lyrical brilliance, most likely meaningless but perfectly hilarious. From album-opener “Better All the Time,” with its wah-wah-what-you-lookin’-at? guitar, to the stripped-down heavy metal of “Candidate,” Minoff keeps things hard, dirty, and not one damn bit pretty. Combine his playing with Svenonius’ always captivating vox—like him or not, Sir Sassiest has one of the most expressive sets of lungs extant—and what you’ve got is a sound that sure won’t change the world, but sure will have fun not trying to. “For the revolutionary/Life is a compromise,” sings Svenonius on the mostly acoustic “Hey Lonnie,” and for once, it’s nice to hear an Ian fighting for the sheer beautiful hell of it. —Michael Little