In a short amount of time, Virginia-based guitar and drums duo the Cinnamon Band has become a steady force with many followers. The group draws its influences from early U2, Nick Lowe and the Everly Brothers, and channels them into rich, densely layered sounds that are rooted in melodic rock ’n’ roll. Recently the band started work on new material for a project called “12x12,” a free digital release of a different cover song each month this year — the first being a cover of the Roches’ “The Hammond Song.” Also on the horizon are a 7-inch single due in April and a full-length album to be released later this year. The Cinnamon Band performs with Airstrip and Snowy Owls at Strange Matter on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 9 p.m. $10. 447-4763.