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12

SUNDAY

The press nonsense that arrived along with Brooklyn-via-Ohio band the National’s eponymous CD hails its sound as “classic American music.” Slip the disc into the player, however, and what flows from the speakers is tuneful but glum stuff, more reminiscent of Australia’s Go-Betweens (“Anna Freud”) or moody Brit strummers such as the Smiths or Prefab Sprout. There’s a world-weariness in the bones of songs like “Cold Girl Fever” and “Son” that sounds more Brighton (think Quadrophenia) than Brooklyn, and a melancholic deadpan ache in singer Matt Berninger’s voice that lingers just below the melodic thrum put together by two pairs of brothers (Scott and Bryan Devendorf and Aaron and Bryce Dessner). The band’s debut is exquisitely wrought, and the National is probably worth a trip to Arlington when it plays with Boxstep at 9 p.m. at the Galaxy Hut, 2711 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703) 525-8646. (Richard Byrne)