Acoustic whispers quickly explode into high-energy electric punk on Skating Polly’s new single “Ugly” from their latest album Fuzz Steilacoom. This powerful duo, composed of teenage step-sisters from Oklahoma, has been finding their place in the crosshairs of riot grrrl rock and blistering pop since their debut in 2010. They successfully solidified a college radio following with the 2013 album Lost Wonderfuls.
Their newest album was released on Skating Polly’s own label, Chap Stereo, and builds on the band’s growing reputation for creating original and notably modern punk material. On the third track, “Ugly”, big attitude seeps through powerful yet bare instrumentation and into fierce vocals. Mayo’s voice fluctuates between childish, mocking and straight screams as she dishes out strong, challenging lyrics. With a sense of anguished pride, she sings, “You’ll always be ugly, and you’ll always be nothing, and you’ll always be me.” A plain, unproduced video mirrors their decidedly DIY intentions.
Skating Polly has a unique ability to run the gamut from clever punk to melodic pop, and “Ugly” is able to aptly pull from all directions, making it a high point on an already solid album.