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Monday May 14th, 2018 at Record Bar in Kansas City, MO
Charly Bliss, & Skating Polly

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No time to write this one up, but here's a quick recap where I try not to just throw out adjectives in hopes that you can complete the recap yourself.

Skating Polly are a trio from Oklahoma City. The band is led by stepsisters Kelli Mayo (vocals/bassitar) and Peyton Bighorse (guitar/vocals), with brother Kurtis Mayo providing drums from the back of the stage. The band is young. Xs on their hands young. Talk of their 6-year-old brother young. Young enough that they weren't around for the initial run of grungy guitars, Big Muff choruses, and riot grrrl babydoll vocals that define their sound. The band's energy, however, is timeless. On stage Kelli Mayo provided most of the verve, pogoing and kicking and thrashing about the stage, screeching her vocals, and playing leads on a three-string bass dubbed a "bassitar." Bighorse was more reserved. Solid and in control. Her voice deeper and tamed. Mayo didn't talk to the audience for the first twenty minutes, stating that sometimes she just forgets. Simultaneously focused and scatterbrained. For the final two songs, Kurtis Mayo took over guitar, sending Bighorse back to drums, and ending the set with a large dose of chaos and delightful noise.

The arc continued and culminated with Charly Bliss. Neither band nor club knew what to expect from the foursome's first show in Kansas City. On a Monday. At 9:15 the experiment started when the Brooklyn band opened with "Westermarck" from its 2017 debut album Guppy (Barsuk Records). The song, like all the band's songs, is high-energy power pop reminiscent of every Letters to Cleo song on a '90s teen movie soundtrack. Frontwoman and guitarist Eva Hendrick's voice is high and youthful. Her screams throaty and fun. Completed by Spencer Fox on lead guitar, Sam Hendricks on drums and Dan Shure on bass, the band punched harder than anyone expected. The audience mimicked the loads of sugary backing vocals provided by Fox, and when Eva Hendricks pogoed (and boy did she pogo) the audience followed suit, shaking the recordBar floor. In return, Hendricks effused about the Kansas City crowd.

Over the course of an hour, the band played nine tracks from Guppy, two new tracks (both excellent), and two older ones from 2014's self-released Soft Serve. That EP's lead track, "Love Me," served as the encore, allowing Hendricks to put down her guitar, and challenge the band to match her energy. While the fawning audience did its best, it was no match for the dance moves of Hendricks, who completed the set collapsed on the stage in a puddle of Doc Martens, sweat, and smudged eyeshadow.