Time is supposed to mellow us, but for Petrol Girls it has distilled their feminist politics into an ever more potent cocktail. Fitting, given that their logo from day one has been a flaming molotov. Since their formation in 2012, the band has been known for playing fast-paced, chaotic punk that takes aim at everything from sexual violence to immigration policy, but over the last few years their sound has evolved in a more nuanced direction. Their 2016 debut album Talk of Violence was a blast of pure political rage, while 2019’s Cut & Stitch saw vocalist Ren Aldridge exploring familiar themes from a more personal perspective. Now their latest offering, Baby – to be released through the London-based independent label Hassle on June 24th – sees the band turn another new corner. This time, by embracing irreverence.
“We wanted [this album] to be less epic and less preachy from day one,” Aldridge says. “I hate sanctimoniousness. Like, really fucking hate it. But I also know that I have been mega preachy, and felt very pressured to be sanctimonious, because we've always played in a very political punk scene. I lost my fun side, and I really needed to come back to that.”