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Expanding on the early-’90s math-metal sound of bands like Don Caballero and Breadwinner, the Champs—aka C4AM95—crank out thick, monolithic hard-rock riffs and dual-harmony guitar leads with vertiginous precision. Led by ex-Nation of Ulysses guitarist Tim Green and armed with Marshall amps and a nine-string guitar, the band probes the extreme reaches of the sonic spectrum with searing guitar tones that would make even Eddie Van Halen’s ears bleed. The Champs’ 1997 debut full-length, III, is a 75-minute epic, oscillating between time-signature-shifting metallic stomp and evocative electronica. Whereas III represents the crossroads where Confessor and Kraftwerk meet, the Bay Area trio’s most recent 7-inch, “Summer Knights,” showcases its love for ’70s classic-rock histrionics a la Thin Lizzy. The Champs get heavy tonight with Trans Am, Laddio Bolocko, and the Pines of Nowhere at 8:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $8. (202) 667-7960. (Brent Burton)