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Ink builds its music around one organizing principle: repetition. Nat Rabb lays down the framework with his thick, dubbed-out bass lines, which suggest equal parts PiL and Tortoise. Lyle Kissack’s propulsive, economic drumming moves the songs along but never clutters them with anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. Vocalist Peter Quinn delivers—in his instantly recognizable monotone—lyrics that suggest situations and settings without ever making anything too specific. And over and around that basic structure, Craig Bowen lays down clangy, stuttering guitar lines that occupy just enough of the remaining open space without ever being overbearing. The finishing touches are provided by whatever the band deems necessary: a clarinet, a cello, atmospheric loops—a luxury offered by the ability to write in the studio. Though Ink’s methods sometimes result in a few clunkers, when the band is on, it manages to hypnotically transport you to an alien but strangely familiar landscape. The band plays with Q and Not U and the Mercury Program at 9:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $7. (202) 667-7960. (Jacob Long)