Skating Polly – The Make It All Show

Arguably the group’s most assured album to date.

Skating Polly - The Make It All Show

Arguably the group’s most assured album to date.

Label: El Camino Media
Released: 11th May 2018
Rating: ★★★★

Comprised of step-sisters Kelli Mayo, Peyton Bighorse and now including Kelli’s brother Kurtis, Oklahoma’s Skating Polly are something of a family affair. They’re also old hands at this music lark, finding themselves on album number five despite being barely old enough to start university.

Yet this proficiency shouldn’t be misconstrued as profligacy, and ‘The Make It All Show’ is yet another satisfying mishmash of riot grrrl anthems and twisted indie-pop gems. Following on from the commercial acclaim afforded ‘The Big Fit’ and ‘Fuzz Steilacoom’, ‘The Make It All Show’ is arguably the group’s most assured album to date, softening the rough edges with some gorgeous textures and the strong vocal interplay between Mayo and Brighouse. It still possesses a certain lo-fi charm, but the switch up to a trio has no doubt helped round out the group’s sound – and all for the better too.

There are some killer songs buried amongst the fuzzed-out grunge guitars too. The duelling, layered vocals of ‘Long Ride’ swish and swoon with majesty, while the outstanding ‘Hollywood Factory’ sees the group stretch their lyrical storytelling muscle to the max.

There are still moments of rage – proof that Skating Polly remain connected to their DIY punk roots – with the likes of ‘Queen For A Day’ (co-written with X’s Exene Cervenka) and the brooding ‘They’re Cheap’ bristling and bubbling with a will to change the world for the better.

“I’m taking the time out so I can pretend to still feel young,” the trio assert on ‘This Vacation’, and considering the maturity displayed on ‘The Make It All Show’, it makes for a telling insight. Over the course of five records, Skating Polly have grown up in the public eye. ‘The Make it All Show’ could have been a jaded reflection on a world that still seems slow to catch up to the group’s ideals. Instead, it’s another smart call to arms, undimmed by the prospect of growing older. Rob Mair

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