Contentious Cap Jenny Toomey may be one of the D.C. scene’s most polemical musicians, but it’s hard to deny her talent. Those who love Toomey’s clever wordplay and abstruse melodies for Tsunami will find a similar style on Listening Cap, the debut album by her newest band, Liquorice. The two-guitars-and-drums lineup would suggest a minimalist approach. But Warren DeFever’s crispy-clean production is augmented by piano and vocal harmony on Franklin Bruno’s “Keeping the Weekend Free,” and interrupted by buzzing sounds on a remix of the folky “Trump Suit.” Following a piano-led cover of the Roches’ “Jill of All Trades,” guitarist Dan Littleton sings lead on the delicate acoustic number “Breaking the Ice” before giving the mic back to Toomey for the Devoesque “Blew It.” Songs like “Team Player” (like “Kidding on the Square” from Tsunami’s The Heart’s Tremolo) spotlight Toomey’s involvement with indie rock: “Team” ‘s acidic lyrics target an unnamed—but nonetheless recognizable—former local musician. Toomey admits her own culpability in the petty war, and ends “Team Player” by stating, “Living in a small town/I can get so melodramatic.” While Cap might not make Toomey any more fans, open-minded listeners might enjoy its minor-key melodramas.

That’s When I Reached for My Revolver

The Ropers’ “Revolver,” a 7-inch produced by Ultra Vivid Scene’s Kurt Ralske, indicates that the local quartet is moving away from its noise-pop roots and becoming a songwriter-driven unit with psychedelic overtones. A smart flip-side cover of “Transparent Day”—a tune by the unjustly obscure ’60s group West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band—is an apt choice for the Ropers, whose strong vocal and instrumental melodies recall the Byrds as well as early Ride. “Revolver” is available from Slumberland Records, P.O. Box 14731, Berkeley, CA 94712.