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Get past the Interpreters’ occasional British accents (guys, rent some Merchant/Ivory!) and overt Wire-isms (D.C. punks have never shied away from saluting Pink Flag), and you’re left feeling that the Interpreters’ short songs say nothing (like limericks nicked from some club’s grimy loo). That’s no crime. After a few spins it’s obvious that the band’s debut album, Back in the U.S.S.A., hasn’t quite gotten its due. (It was neglected while label Volcano changed its stationery to Freeworld.) Hearing the Interpreters’ recordings is a bit like checking out one of those also-ran mod punk groups (the Carpettes, the Chords, Powder) and finding they’re better than you remembered. The Terps re-enlist the uptight raves of the Kinks and the abrupt blasts of Wire, and keep the tension level high even on upbeat vibes. “Taking it Over” and “You Are the One” find the trio at its catchiest and most confident. Back in the U.S.S.A. sounds like a first album by a snotty inexperienced band—not raw but tastefully underdone, catchy and straightforward, stylish with little substance, but often a bleedin’ good time. With local garage snots JetLag and Deep Lust at 10 p.m. at Metro Cafe, 1522 14th St. NW. $5. (202) 518-7900. (John Dugan)