Song of the day (the old and the new) – 8. Skating Polly and Paint Fumes

Actually, I am not sure which is supposed to be the old and which is the new. The first is old to me, but the songs are new (to me).* The second is from further away in time, but the songs are new (to me)*. Both exist in that weird interdimensional bubble that separates reality from another form of reality (hyperreality?) for me: online, with no smells or shouts of glee or indecision to worry me, the songs are a false dichotomy of what I might expect if I ever encountered any of these ladies in ‘real’ life.

*No, they’re not (see below).

*No, they’re not (do not see below).

Already, I become bogged down in trivialities and I hear the door slam upstairs.

I have been meaning to listen to this Skating Polly album for – oh for fuck’s sake – over two years now.  They’ve probably released three since, a live DVD, lost both their original members and changed gender twice. My head has not been in the correct space to listen before: it is in no more of a correct space now, but I chanced across their music (following on from The Jam’s ‘Funeral Pyre’ on iTunes) earlier today and the album is now being lined up for its third consecutive listen. I like the energy, the enthusiasm, the venom, the directness of lyrics and the slightly uncool treatment of instruments on songs like ‘Scummy Summer’. I like the way it is most everything I am not. I like the way sometimes it reminds me of stuff we (me and the band) have probably both listened to in the past – a snatch of Polly Harvey here, a blister of Courtney Love there, a shredding of Babes in Toyland here and so on and on and on – but without being mendacious or misleading or unapologetic or copyist. It shakes a tailfeather, baby.

As I wrote way back in the mists of 2015, “Some music gets it. Some music doesn’t get it. This gets it.” Oh wait, I was writing about the same album then that I’m writing about now. Plus ça change.  Nirvana, Sebadoh, but lost in a trailer park in Buttfuck, Idaho. Wait. Should I scrub through this entire paragraph then?

All I wanted to do was share this song:

I have a vague idea it was the song I distrusted first time around, and now I love everything about it. EVERYTHING. The sheer mischievous infectiousness of it all. Everything I tell you. Even the three-second glimpses of the ladies as I play the video back in a search to play the video back.


And then I wanted to acknowledge this, and post up two comments from my friends – the sheer mischievous infectiousness of it all – and call it a morning.

…forget what I said about guitars. Forgive me guitars because actually you’re the ones that I love best, that I’ll always come back to, no matter how many times I might stray after a tempting piece of electronica. (as long as you stay away from solo-ing mind, and stick only to crunch and twang). And even though there’s nothing new about big, lolloping garage guitars, and even though I HATE the cliched, patronising video, I still love this: (Tamsin Chapman)

The video is half crap corporate daytime TV shit and half SHEER MISCHIEVOUS INFECTIOUSNESS OF IT ALL. The guitars sound like those damn Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys and damn if that makes me feel so fucking happy.

The other quote is from my 1980s dancing accomplice, Geoff the Postman (find other amazing recommendations here):

One more from me. Not very recent (these tracks are all from 2012) and, to be honest, their second LP, released last year, was a bit of a disappointment, but I’m posting it because when ET first started writing about all those Seattle bands at the end of the 80s, I had an idea from what he he had written what to expect from them. When I eventually got to hear and see these bands, they were not what I’d imagined at all, much more plodding and trad rock than I’d hoped for. Years later, when I first heard this band, I realised they were exactly what I thought Nirvana, Mudhoney et al were going to be.

Geoff nails it.

One Response to Song of the day (the old and the new) – 8. Skating Polly and Paint Fumes

  1. Anonymous says:

    Yes and Yes.

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