Before setting out to make their mark on the post-punk landscape, Leonard Jackson and Ian Schaeffer -- pals from their day jobs at Guitar Center -- left their marks on plenty of bottles of beer. “We were drinking buddies first, and we’d sit around and philosophize about how things should be,” Jackson says. “Once we’d created our utopian band model, we realized there was no other solution but to do it.” Now, singer-guitarist Jackson and bassist Schaeffer, along with guitarist Greg Smith and drummer Tom DuPree III, have moved forward as the Forward. Their debut album, “Nothing But Teeth” (due Sept. 9), showcases the quartet’s quick-hitting guitars and agitated rhythms, and the wry, literate songs Jackson conceived during long hours of hawking merchandise that helped other artists realize their dreams. “I’ve tried to write songs that you can have an emotional connection to,” Jackson says, “songs that tell stories but have subtext.” If this material aims a little higher than the initial album on which Jackson and Schaeffer collaborated (released two years ago under the unfortunate moniker Club Makeout), chalk it up to experience -- and some help from producer Ethan Allen (the 88) and mixer Mark Needham (the Killers). “Ethan really helped us focus on getting a great performance all the way through,” Jackson says. “His ideas made a big difference in the end.” Live: The Forward plays tonight at the Knitting Factory and Aug. 19 at the Key Club. Also: The Hotel Cafe is the locus for great shows the next three nights -- England’s David Ford tonight; Greg Laswell (celebrating the release of his new “How the Day Sounds”) on Friday; and Pedestrian (celebrating the release of “Sidegeist”) on Saturday. . . . It’s the Deadly Syndrome and Miss Derringer tonight at the Hammer Museum (free). . . . And next week at Tangier, there’s the first of consecutive Wednesday appearances by Inara George and Van Dyke Parks.