Last month, a loosely-promoted, twice-a-month band showcase called “The Battle for $1,000” kicked off at the Pour House. Styled as a battle of the bands by local promotions agency 1K Entertainment, the events involved five-to-six local rock bands of various genres, twice a month. With no judges on hand to appraise the situation, nor any applause meters to measure the crowd’s response to anything, at first it was hard to say how this “battle” works. It seems that ticket sales (in a classic L.A.-style pay-to-play setup) have something to do with it. We bought a ticket for $8 from a local band last week, and stopped by the club early Sunday evening to check things out. On the bill were the John Douglas Company, Frank Royster, Zero to Never, Red House, and Jonesin’ for Breakfast. Dressed in matching white shirts and black neckties (more like the Knack or the Jam back in 1979 than the Jonas Brothers), young rock power trio Red House caught our attention with their raucous and meandering set — a committed performance replete with contrasting moments of great precision and chaos. Their stiff cover of the Meters’ “Cissy Strut” was an odd detour, but the rest of the set bounced and staggered with more spirit. Singer/guitarist Tyler Boone propelled things from his piercingly-loud Fender Strat while drummer Eric McMicheal and bassist John Fletcher (also of Autumn Gold) clamored to keep up. Sloppy, but highly enjoyable. Who knows if they’ll grab that grand?

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