Defiant, driven, and militant in their cause to give the voices of their sisters a platform; Petrol Girls have shared their latest EP The Future Is Dark (released via Hassle Records). It’s a blistering collection of anti-patriarchy, anti-capitalist anthems that will inspire listeners to stand up, speak out, and be counted.
The EP is named after a Virginia Woolf quote that writer Rebecca Solnit uses as a starting point for her essay ‘Woolf’s Darkness’, in Men Explain Things To Me. Solnit writes about accepting uncertainty and not fearing the dark or the unknown. Her sentiments reflect Petrol Girls’ unwavering belief in the strength of sisterhood, and speaking out against oppression.
The riotous ‘Survivor’ opens the record, and is inspired by the growing movement against sexual violence. Vocalist Ren’s powerful voice declares “It was my anger that kept me alive” over thrashing guitar riffs and heart-thumping percussion. It’s another much needed shout-back track, dismantling the damage caused by pervasive and traumatising sexual assaults. The slightly softer, but equally as striking ‘Sister’ follows – championing the power of sisterhood. It’s a reminder to cherish and nurture relationships with sisters from all walks of life.
The track ordering on The Future Is Dark sends just as seminal a message as the individual songs that form it. It begins with feelings of anger and isolation (‘Survivor’), fades in to relief, support and recovery (‘Sister’), before closing track ‘Strike’ reinforces the need to keep fighting, and to persevere against forces that continue to oppress us all (even if you fuck up from time to time).
Petrol Girls are experts at taking their anger and transforming it in to a force for change, self-expression, and most importantly – reassurance for listeners who need love and guidance in such turbulent political times. The future may be dark, but with Petol Girls around, it’s certainly not void of hope.