Skating Polly formed in 2009 when step sisters Peyton Bighorse and Kelli Mayo were merely 9 and 14, now enjoying something of success in the US with a supporting slot opening for Babes in Toyland on their worldwide reunion tour last year and now the release of their fourth album, The Big Fit.
Headed up by the reunion of Sleater Kinney in 2014, the recent 90’s girl band revival is still going strong with bands like L7 and Babes in Toyland only just finishing up their worldwide tours. Instead of pining for the return of their heroes for over a decade like the rest of us, Skating Polly have been creating music to fill that massive hole in your life that Jack off Jill left behind. And fill it does.
The Big Fit being their first to make it to the UK is a brilliant, nostalgia inducing body of work and a great introduction to the band, this album showcases perfectly the immense range of talent that these girls have, each song showing of another unique tone to their style.
Just as varying to the tone is their genre which refuses to be pinned down. On 'Morning Dew', 'Hey Sweet' and 'Perfume For Now', Mayo’s voice is childlike yet entirely piercing in a melodic fashion. Paired with Bighorse's low, gravely tones and heavy guitar produces pure riot goth heaven. Complete with wonderfully creepy lyrics and your instantly taken back to your teenage bedroom, blu-tacking mindless, self indulgence posters to your walls: “This won’t hurt too badly I’ll just take your skin”. They would have filled up The Bronze all night every night, even on a school night.
However, the unmistakable influence of Regina Spektor on piano based tracks like 'Cosmetic Skull', 'Arms & Opinions' and 'Across the Caves' cannot be missed. The dark yet playful chords and intricate yet undeducible lyrics make for great “ugly pop”, as the band so wonderfully describes it.
The other underlying sound is good old punk rock which shows up to take over on the oh so catchy 'Nothing More Than a Body' as well as the excellent opening track, Oddie Moore'. Built on poetic lyrics, teen angst and melody driven riffs, these songs capture Skating Polly’s raw sound at its best. The album’s finisher, 'Picker of His Words', is a brilliant example of this as well as their intriguingly mature song writing ability: “He tells me what to say and calls it my way”.
By managing to preserve the essence of their low-fi sound whilst at the same time bringing a whole new backbone to their music, The Big Fit does the band every justice it deserves, a testament to their endless hard work.