More Humans at Velvet Lounge Wednesday, June 1

D.C. trio More Humans occasionally builds songs out of a single lyric or two, but they’re not exactly minimalists. “Even though/eyes were on Barbaro/Even though/I’ve been on the road...” they sing in “Barbaro” over a strung-out death groove that’d feel right in a Bob Seger song. A track from the band’s latest EP has just one repeated line, which works as both a mantra and a punchline following a pensive build: “You’re a liar.” That More Humans writes chugging riffs and sometimes sings in twangy close harmony is a sure sign it’s playing with a certain strain of road-warrior rock, but CCR 8.0 this is not; there are weird countermelodies, backward-sounding beats, and humorous lyrics about creepy situations. In one song, Pittsburgh is “the childhood home of Andy Warhol and Dan Marino.” In another, there’s something in Dracula’s blood. In “Mason-Dixon,” the band packs up a vehicle to cross that imaginary barrier between North and South, but encounters with familiar ghosts prove boring. It’s not worn-down—this isn’t “Turn the Page”—but just bored, and soon enough the band is on to its next eccentric, observational riff.

More Humans performs with The Foreign Press and Small Sur at 9 p.m. p.m. at Velvet Lounge, 915 U St. NW. $8.

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