Skating Polly, a punk-rock sibling trio based out of Tacoma, Washington, performed for a jam-packed, sold-out room at the Mano Oculta this past Saturday night in Portland, Oregon. This was a very intimate venue attached to the side of a Mexican restaurant in downtown Portland.
The band mixed clean vocal harmonies between sisters Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse with screaming choruses, heavy guitar riffs, and melodic bass lines. Skating Polly’s sound was influenced by bands from the riot girl and grunge movements of the Pacific Northwest, which really came through in their music. Their explosive energy, unbeatable stage presence, and impressive big leg kicks in some iconic red platform boots did not disappoint.
The harmonies between Kelli and Peyton can be clean and pretty like a pop song, then immediately hitting you in the face with screams of emotions throughout the choruses. The term that is coined on the band’s instruments as “Ugly Pop,” which perfectly describes the music that Skating Polly makes. One of the my favorites was a new song “Hickey King” that blended the clean verses with catchy “Chh Chh Chh” sounds that kicked off the chorus over heavily distorted guitar and hard-hitting drums.
This was my second time seeing Skating Polly in the last year, first seeing them open for THICK last fall in Seattle. They were on my shortlist of bands I was looking forward to seeing perform again so soon. The band performed for just over an hour of songs from their currently available albums “The Big Fit” and “The Make It All Show,” while also treating those in attendance to some new singles and unreleased songs from their upcoming album. Kelli informed the audience that the new album will be out this June titled “Chaos County Line.” During the set, Kelli mentioned a fan wearing a custom-made Skating Polly denim shirt who was very excited to see them live. The girl’s shirt was shared on the band’s Instagram after being signed by the band.
Overall, Skating Polly’s performance showcased their unique blend of punk-rock, pop harmonies, and powerful vocals that left the audience wanting more.
Catch Skating Polly on tour this spring and summer though North America, dates and tickets can be found on the bands website. The most recent single “I’m Sorry for Always Apologizing”, from their upcoming album is available on all major streaming platforms.