Sweet, with a bite

Are the Skirts just girly girls who wanna rock out?

The Skirts: Calling Madonna!

The Skirts: Calling Madonna!

Live! CD release party 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at Old Ironsides, 1901 S St., with Magnolia Thunderfinger and Daycare. Cover: $7.

The Skirts are one of those bands that seem to have been brought together by kismet. Three years ago, five women all had the same idea, simultaneously: Let’s form an all-female rock band and have some fun. All it took was one phone call, and the Skirts were born. The group and its fans have been having fun ever since.

Although the Skirts have undergone a few lineup changes, each time a replacement had to be found the change was accomplished smoothly. The Skirts’ current lineup includes original members Lynn Mayugba (vocals) and Wendy Powell (drums), along with Gerri Ranta (guitar), Gitti Lindner (bass) and Cory Tozer (guitar), who replaced Kim Williams, Karen Simmons and Sunita Bhardwaj.

What the Skirts play is a poppy-punky brand of rock that Lindner jokingly describes thus: “The Go-Go’s meet a train wreck.” Loud, crunchy guitars and a booming rhythm section are juxtaposed with sweet vocals; the result sounds quite alluring. “They rock, and then I ruin it by sprinkling some sugar on it,” Mayugba says, laughing.

Obviously, fun is an essential element of the Skirts’ appeal. But not everybody seems to get it.

“We get attacked because we’re really, really girly,” Mayugba says. “Well, we are really, really girly, and we’re proud of it. We’re not trying to be kick-ass punk rock or bad-ass rock.”

“We’re just being ourselves,” Tozer says.

“We put glitter in our hair and dress up all the time,” Powell says. “We don’t just do that onstage. We’re always like that. We’re always girly. It’s not like we just want to be cute because we’re playing."The Skirts recently played a memorable show on New Year’s Eve at Old Ironsides, with the Brodys and Magnolia Thunderfinger. One of the evening’s highlights was the Finger covering a Skirts song while Mayugba, Ranta and Powell sang and danced onstage with them. According to Mayugba and Powell, Ranta has a natural talent for dancing.

“She has dancing feet,” Mayugba says, smiling. “She thought that Wendy and I were doing some sort of dance routine when we were onstage with Magnolia.”

“She thought Lynn was dancing with Skid and I was dancing over by Chico, so she went up and started dancing with T-Bone,” Wendy picks up, name-checking everyone in Magnolia Thunderfinger but the drummer. “She went dancing over by him and he kind of looked at her like, ‘What are you doing?’ “

“We’re probably going to get reamed for even mentioning that,” Mayugba says, laughing.

Although the Skirts already released a 6-song EP titled Look Up, the new album, Take Off, is their first full-length endeavor, and their magic comes through like never before. Credit some of that fairy dust to Magnolia Thunderfinger singer-guitarist Skid Jones, who produced the disc.

“He whipped us into shape,” Powell says. “He came in and did a lot of pre-production, which was really fun for us. He’d come to practice and say ‘All right, girls, what was that?! That sucked!’ He really helped us get focused and figure out how we wanted things to sound.”

“I’ve never been so verbally abused in my entire life,” Mayugba adds, while the other band members fall out laughing.

For now, the plan is to shop their CD for a label deal and perhaps do a little West Coast touring. Indeed, bigger and better things may be just around the corner for the Skirts.