In 2009, at the tender ages of 9 and 14, best friends Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse formed the band Skating Polly. Bighorse says the pair bonded over a shared love of music and movies.
“We were pretty fast friends,” she recalls. “We’ve always been surrounded by music and instruments, so it came very naturally for us and since we were so close before, it felt easy to be creative with each other.”
“We are just huge music fans,” Mayo adds. “Our biggest heroes are musicians. Our favorite memories are colored by amazing music, and our favorite songs and artists are our safe place.”
Seven years later, Mayo and Bighorse are still really young, but they’re starting to make a big noise reviving the sludgy punk of the ’80s and ’90s. They call their sound “ugly pop.”
On March 25 Skating Polly will release its fourth studio LP, The Big Fit. The track “Perfume for Now” recalls the loud-quiet-loud dynamic and screaming catharsis of bands like Nirvana, L7 or Babes in Toyland. Mayo plays the “basitar,” a bass and six-string-guitar hybrid popularized by Seattle band The Presidents of the United States of America.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get a full-scale bass for the body of a basitar,” Mayo says, “because I like the weight of the smaller ones, and that’s what I’ve grown accustomed to.”
Mayo says she respects how the loud punk rock of the ’90s was still catchy. “On the flipside of that,” Mayo explains, “I like how the pretty poppier songs could still be kind of twisted and off-kilter and authentic —that’s important.”
“We’re super excited about the new record,” Bighorse adds. “We’ve spent so much time on it and put so much of ourselves into it. The songs on the record are our most personal songs yet.”
Skating Polly plays with Eugene’s Critical Shakes and subman 7 pm Wednesday, March 23, at The Boreal, 450 W. 3rd Ave.; $5. All ages.