PISSED OFF POLITI-PUNK: Punk outfit Petrol Girls possess everything you want in a punk band. They’re fast, loud, noisy, and abrasive, pissed off, and they stand for something. They waste nary a bar on the frivolous, instead focusing their vitriol and venom on a myriad of social and political injustices, taking aim at issues including immigration, women’s rights, and sexual violence, subject matter that makes up the bulk of their latest work, Baby, their third full length.
“Preachers” is a urgent and chaotic call to arms. “Feed My Fire” is a frenzied waltz of dizzying guitar riffs, dissonant screams, and melodic hooks. The irreverent and rollicking “Baby, I Had an Abortion” takes on an entirely new meaning in the wake of the US Supreme Court overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade case, ending nearly 50 years of constitutional protections for abortion. “Clowns” and “Unsettle” do their part in balancing the chaos of Baby, before “Fight for Our Lives” plunges listeners right back into the thick of things. “Violent by Design” and “Sick & Tired” are intense slabs of political punk, and closer “Bones” is one of the more purely melodic outings on Baby.
Throughout Baby, frontwoman Ren Aldridge is a soap box firebrand, spouting knowledge from the mountain on high, all while leaving no atrocity unchallenged. And as such, there are so many noteworthy bars scattered throughout Baby, enough to fill this entire review, but you’re better off just listening to everything Aldridge and company have to say yourself.
Baby is an album you can both head bang and dance to, one with many important messages that are begging to be heard. And while you might not like what Petrol Girls have to say, they’re damn sure going to make you listen up and, better yet, pay attention. ~ Brian Campbell