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Kerosene 454’s new release, At Zero (on up-and-comer Slowdime), finds this local band trying new things here and there, but mostly sticking to its strengths as an ultrasolid rock machine. Whether hurtling to a distant, melodic release on a taut riff or locking into a grinding rhythm, Kerosene executes powerful, controlled licks. The band picks up the difficult mission started by the likes of now-defunct Jawbox—to make modern punk that’s technical and muscular yet heartfelt and personal, a little quirky but still melodic and catchy. It’s tough to get it all right, but At Zero is the document of an ambitious and proficient outfit having a go. With Bluetip at 9 p.m. at Metro Cafe, 1522 14th St. NW. $7. (202) 518-7900. (John Dugan)