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Satan Said Dance

The muscular dance-rock of Hot Cops

Hot Cops bring infectious indie dance-rock. Photo courtesy of Facebook

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There was a time when, for fans of indie music, the genre of dance went underground. For the late ‘80s and into the ‘90s, dancing became persona non grata at most aboveground indie shows, due to the massive influx of irony and detachment. It's hard to pin down exactly when this movement began, but we do know - through educational texts and the like - that dancing became relegated to house and techno shows. Guitars ruled the day, and many kids wearing Converse had to be satisfied with swaying side-to-side, stone-faced and cool.

In the mid-2000s, though, something began to happen. With the introduction of bands like LCD Soundsystem and a whole slew of dance-rock outfits, bands began to incorporate not only the sounds of the day, but began to reach back and refurbish the sounds that were once thought cheesy. Suddenly, it became acceptable to not only be ironic and detached, but to fuel that irony into the real desire and willingness to dance. It was a roundabout way to sincerity, but it ultimately proved successful: suddenly, fans of indie music were being given permission to dance at shows, just like all of the cool kids that they had spent the past two decades talking s*%#@ about.

It's been a gradual process, to be sure. I've written before, as someone who occasionally books shows, how frustrating it is to see people standing to the side with their hands in their pockets - even as I am, admittedly, one of these people (alcohol depending). Still, bands like Hot Cops are doing their damnedest to make this hesitancy and distance a thing of the past.

Earlier this year, Hot Cops were voted by the readers of this fine rag as being the Best New Band of 2015, in the Best of Olympia poll. It's easy to see why voters were attracted to Hot Cops. While the presence of the steady four-on-the-floor beat makes for great dancing potential, they don't go so far as to alienate the wallflowers. Fans of guitar-rock can find plenty to enjoy in the angular melodies and bursts of energy that come from the foursome. As far as vocals go, Hot Cops ride the line between the sort of radio-ready indie pop that has become the norm over the course of the past decade - bands that break through the boundaries of the mainstream - and a sort of twee delicacy that could have soundtracked the high school lives of ‘90s outcasts.

Always present is the sort of muscularity that pushes and cajoles audience members to get their feet moving. In a day and age when - almost a decade ago - a band like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah had to almost literally attribute dancing to the devil's work ("Satan Said Dance") in order to alleviate the dancers of any responsibility, it can still be an uphill battle to break hipsters out of their shells. Moshing, yes, remains the easiest way to get otherwise reserved people out on the dance floor, but it remains a cop out. To say that you should "dance like nobody's watching" is a misnomer. What bands like Hot Cops are trying to do is get you to dance like everybody is watching, and for you to not care.

Hot Cops are still a fairly new band, so there's plenty of time for them to grow and end up hating dancing and to negate everything I've written (please don't). In the meantime, there's only so much sunlight in a day, and there's only so much moonlight before everyone goes home, so I would urge you to touch your toe to the damn dance floor.

Hot Cops, w/ Skates!, Bloody Diamonds, Tuesday, Sept. 8, All Ages, 8 p.m., cover TBA, 733, 733 Commerce St., 253.344.3104

Hot Cops, Wednesday Sept. 9, 8 p.m., cover TBA, Cryptatropa Bar, 421 4th Ave. E., Olympia, 360.754.3867

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