City Paper is not for tourists.
My Life in Rain only occasionally sounds much like Hüsker Dü—check out “Down on You”—but its music would be impossible without that trio’s trademark meld of swagger and vulnerability. The post-punk showcased on the local quintet’s What People Say is surging yet sometimes ungainly, powerful yet unheroic; Pat Cusack’s guitar can shimmer, but it wouldn’t do for a band like this to sound too slick, so it interrupts “Unsaid” with a deliberately gawky passage or strips down “Motion Sick” to just its bass line. The band, which appears Wednesday at the Black Cat, doesn’t always turn its arresting guitar intros into full-blown songs, but for an outfit making its long-playing debut its success ratio is entirely respectable: “Close to Shut,” “Unsaid,” “Did,” and “Courage Is” all drive shapely melodies full speed ahead. The disc is on Grass, distributed by Dutch East India, and the band can be reached (“for fun, hair care advice, or lyrics”) c/o 50 Records, 12516 Stablehouse Court, Rockville, MD 20854.