Friday, September 06, 2013

The Skirts - Look Up! and Smashing the Sky

I first became aware of Sacramento's The Skirts because of their drummer, Wendy Powell, had played with our pals the Groovie Ghoulies. Everyone thought that Wendy was sweet, super cute and damned talented, so we were interested to hear her all-female band.

Look Up! - nice title and cover - is a damned terrific slice of female punk-pop done right - lots of energy, clever melodies and harmonies and a fun time all around. This 1999 6-song release is all-too-brief but a great taster that would leave fans wanting more. This is what proponents of punk-pop mean when they defend the oft-abused label. The playing is all tight, and while no one person stands out, everyone locks together for the betterment of the tune - not to show off.

By 2002, the guitarists had changed and the sound became a little less pure punk-pop and more "alternative", for lack of a better term. Still quite energetic, but with more variety, some new guitar licks and a little more expansion in the songwriting. Lots of pieces will sound familiar but are hard to place - which, I suppose is the right way to do it. Still very melodic and catchy and still not highly technical - because the songs don't need to be (and shouldn't be) - but definitely a growth since Look Up! 

I missed their third album, Take Off!, but I'm sure it is worthwhile, as well. This was the kind of band that our old group The Excessories would love to play with (though now I don't remember if we did now) - so fans of female, rockin' pop should check out the Skirts!