BAM! SKABOOSH! PAZOW!
That’s pretty much how Skating Polly kick your ass with the first song of their third album “Fuzz Steilacoom” (named like that because they are THAT cool). “Alabama Movies” has an awesome dirty punk vibe to it that makes you want to rebel against your parents, even if you’re close to 30 and your parents are so open-minded that you have no chance of ever really rebelling against them. I already swooned over the vocal abilities of Peyton and Kelli and I have to continue my praises because on their third album they show yet another wide range that makes anyone else’s sphincters bleed.
Speaking of wide range, I love that they present the best bits of alternative music in one album, like a mixed Tapas-platter. So of course “Alabama Movies” – that has you shaking in your boots – is being followed by an incredibly laid back cool punkrock-ditty called “Fuzz Steilacoom”.
I think it’s a big sign how unique, skilled and fun their music is, that numerous musicians have previously offered their souls to produce their music and help them to spread the word. People want this band to be popular and known, this should not stay a secret to appear cool, NO, this has to get out to the world, so everyone can take part in these girl’s wonderful world of very loud music.
I’d say that in contrast to “Lost Wonderfuls“, the new record is a little grittier, darker in sound and tone but keeps the rough excitement of dynamic song-structures (“Ugly” is a great example, it has more twists than a Night Shyamalan-movie-marathon but without the kitsch and eye-rolling). It is also just as diverse and interesting as the previous album which is no small feat since most follow-up albums are usually a little more grounded in one single direction. In the case of Skating Polly, that would have been a shame, though, because even though their overall genre is probably alt/punk, they have way too many great ideas (executed in a rambunctious, joyful and expert manner) to just do one thing.
The album was produced by Calvin Johnson – not the Football-player, though – who founded K Records and owns the Dub Narcotic recording studio (named after one of his thousand bands) where he produces goodness for the people.
I’ve read that there is a fourth album waiting (pretty darn productive, since “Lost Wonderfuls” was released last year – although it was simmering a little longer). That one supposedly will be comprised of piano-pieces and whether that actually holds true or not, the fact that I read it and thought ‘Sure, these girls can do whatever they want, it will probably be awesome’ reminds me of the great mix of fun and dedication that shows in every song. It doesn’t feel incongruent when they schrammel their way through “Van Gogh” which is a fuzzy delight and then continue with a rather cute (yet dangerous) alt-pop song like “Dead Friends” and then head on with some hardrocking Umph in “Play”.
Maybe they do a piano-album one day, maybe they record a heartfelt folk-album maybe they keep punk alive, who knows. So far, Skating Polly are brimming with potential and it would be a real surprise if they wouldn’t be inspiration for a new generation of kids to play their heart out in ten or twenty years.
By the way, we do get a lovely piano-song by the end of the album. “A Little Late” is very lovely and opens up the already vast possibilities this band has for the future.