At first, Noise Pop Happy Hour at Benders Bar and Grill on Saturday felt like an indie rock version of an antique sale. The aging of the 90s Pacific Northwest-SubPop Records-heyday set was evident. The opening acts (the aptly named Aim Low Kid and Audio Out Send) struggled through poor sound on a tiny stage. The lead singer of Aim Low Kid pointed to a crowd member and said that Starbucks and Pabst Blue Ribbon was a dangerous combo. It used to be heroin-chic and meth. Now it’s Starbucks and PBR.
But once '80s inspired dance-pop band Music for Animals took the stage, hope returned. Straight away you knew from the way this band dressed that MFA wouldn’t settle for the staid flannel-heavy stylings of the 90s or the bland ripped-from-Urban-Outfitters scenester wardrobes. Vocalist Jayson Martinovich wore Mardi Gras beads and blue jeans at least a couple of sizes too tight. Bassist Ely Meyskens rocked a mullet, a white suit and an untied bow tie and axe-man Nick Bray played in a skinny tie and white sneakers. They launched into “The Quiet One” from their If Looks Could Kill EP and by the time they got through the strongest songs (“Worry, “Bi or Curious”) off their self-titled debut album, you had to be deaf not to be out there on the dance floor shaking it and wondering how Martinovich managed to do all those flying kicks with such tight jeans.
Music for Animals also plays Friday, March 6 at Bottom of the Hill.