4

W E D N E S D A Y

The Vandals have gotten older, and as with so many punk bands, any biting edge their music once had has given way to a more “accessible” sound. Maybe you remember the band from the soundtrack of the mall-punk staple Suburbia? Or possibly you caught the Vandals references in the human-lightning-rod episode of The X-Files? This sort of exposure has helped keep the group’s name afloat when better bands have sunk. Regardless of your opinion of the headliners, though, the Suspects are reason enough to go out tonight. The local boys play punk the way D.C. taught the world to do it: fast, hard, and loud. None of this artsy, mellow, sugary-sweet shit. They’ll run you over with straight-ahead hardcore. The Assorted Jelly Beans will be rounding things out with “Ska Core Ghetto Style.” The Vandals claim the Beans are the “best punk discovery since Op Ivy.” Those are big shoes to fill, and the Beans don’t quite have large enough feet: They aren’t nearly as raw, and most of their songs are more poppy, but the energy is there. Almost. At 9 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $7. (202) 667-7960. (Mark Murrmann)