Track Of The Day: BRUTUS – ‘Victoria’

Raw vocals, charged percussion and rapturous riffs punctuate ‘Victoria’, the latest single from Belgian heavy trio Brutus. Taken from their upcoming third album Unison Life, which is set for release on 21st October via Hassle Records/Sargent House, the track is a cathartic reflection on teenage angst, inevitable growth, and the solidarity that comes from facing up to these parts of life together.

“‘Victoria’ is about getting older,” explains vocalist and drummer Stefanie Mannaerts. “You know grown-up life is lurking around the corner, but you’re not afraid of what’s coming, because we’re all going to go down together.” This heavy comradery permeates ‘Victoria’, from the way Mannaerts joyfully exclaims “wake me up inside / when the light strikes again” in the chorus, right the way through to the lyric that inspired the title for the band’s new album: “This is our unison life, my friend / this is the end,”

Dissecting the darker, more desperate parts of the emotional spectrum was the focus for the songs that form Brutus’ upcoming album, Unison Life. “I wanted every song to feel like the last song we’ll ever write,” Mannaerts comments about its conception. “It killed me inside because it’s almost an impossibly high standard, but that was my personal goal for this album. It was a two-year quest of trying to do better.” This version of “better” has manifested itself in Brutus’ recent singles ‘Dust’ and ‘Liar’, with latest cut ‘Victoria’ once again hitting the “impossibly high standard” that the band originally set for themselves.

Bassist Peter Mulders adds that the new track is a nostalgic moment for the band, going “back to the old Brutus days.” This is reflected in the accompanying video, directed by Jonas Hollevoet. The visuals show the band in different locations around Belgium, trying to find the balance between being young and old, isolated and connected, still and transitory.

Watch the video for ‘Victoria’ below.

Pre-order your copy of Brutus’ new album Unison Life here

Follow Brutus on bandcampSpotifyTwitterFacebook & Instagram

BRUTUS UK Tour Dates 2022
16th Nov – Bristol, The Fleece
17th Nov – Manchester, Rebellion
18th Nov – Glasgow, Audio
19th Nov – Leeds, Lending Room
21st Nov – Brighton, Patterns
22nd Nov – London, The Garage

Photo Credit: Kemizz

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Brutus – ‘Liar’

Gritty vocals, powerhouse percussion and charged riffs punctuate ‘Liar’, the latest single from Belgian trio Brutus. Taken from their upcoming third album Unison Life, which is set for release on 21st October via Hassle Records/Sargent House, the track is a heavy lament that criticises the lies we tell ourselves in order to keep a false and temporary sense of calm.

“When things get a bit more difficult or when relationships demand too much energy, I choose to avoid confronting things, or just lie about it for the sake of keeping the peace,” vocalist and drummer Stefanie Mannaerts explains about the context of the new single. “At that point, it just seems like the easy thing to do so that nobody gets hurt. But in the long run, those well-intentioned lies will catch up with you, and the peace you thought you’d found turns out to be an illusion.” Through her instinctive, thudding beats and primal vocals, Mannaerts shatters these illusions amidst a cacophony of riffs from guitarist Stijn Vanhoegaerden and bassist Peter Mulders.

The single is accompanied by a video, directed by Maximiliaan Dierickx and shot in the desert near Marrakech and Essaouira in Morocco. The visuals reflect the duality expressed in Mannaerts’ lyrics, and how masking your true feelings ultimately only leads to further disappointment. Dissecting the darker, more desperate parts of the emotional spectrum fuelled the creation of Brutus’ new album Unison Life. “I wanted every song to feel like the last song we’ll ever write,” Mannaerts comments about its conception. “It killed me inside because it’s almost an impossibly high standard, but that was my personal goal for this album. It was a two-year quest of trying to do better.”

Pre-order your copy of Brutus’ new album Unison Life here.

Watch the video for ‘Liar’ below.

Follow Brutus on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

Photo Credit: Eva Vlonk

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Petrol Girls – ‘Baby’

Released today (24th June) via Hassle Records, feminist punks Petrol Girls truly embrace irreverence on their new album, Baby. While time often mellows the sound and vision of many bands, here it has only re-fuelled the band’s politics with an ever-growing potency. The vital themes of pure political rage, speaking out against sexual violence and immigration that underscored Petrol Girls’ 2016 debut, Talk of Violence, are powerfully replicated on Baby.

Whilst the band maintain their feminist punk roots – especially on rallying pro-choice lead single ‘Baby, I Had An Abortion’ – Petrol Girls transcend their musical origins throughout their new record. The album opens with 28 seconds of noise produced from a mash of sounds on the album, acting as a vibrant nod towards shoegaze. Guitarist Joe York was influenced by everything from electronic music and hip-hop, to New Wave bands like Talking Heads during the writing process for the album and the playful intro to ‘One Or The Other’ encapsulates this, with ‘Preachers’ further setting the raw experimental tone for the record.

Vocalist Ren Aldridge continues to deliver her breath-takingly vehement lyrics throughout Baby. Her clear intonation and powerful projection become consistently more impressive with each track, and when the subject matter does get more severe, her cathartic cries and screams provide a much needed emotional release. Activist and DIY punk Janey Starling also delivers superb guest vocals on ‘Fight For Our Lives’ and ‘Violent by Design’, both of which act as visceral moments of furious relief for listeners who have been marching on the streets for equality in the wake of public violence against women in recent years.

While the issues handled on Baby vary in weight, they all ultimately follow themes of femicide, police brutality and toxic “nice guys” (‘Sick & Tired’). The record is a genuine effort to dismantle these pervasive tropes and elements of society, fueled by righteous rage and impressive resilience. Petrol Girls should be proud of their new collection of fast-paced, vital anti-establishment anthems.

Order Petrol Girls’ new album Baby here

Follow Petrol Girls on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Photo Credit: Hanna Fasching

Sarah Bennett
@sarah_benn3tt (Twitter)
@zasbennett (Instagram)

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Petrol Girls – ‘Monstrous’

​”This is not all of me / I choose the parts you see” reveals Petrol Girls‘ vocalist Ren Aldridge in the opening lyrics to the band’s latest track, ‘Monstrous’. Stretched over visceral riffs and piston-like percussion, Ren’s lyrics compliment the single’s accompanying video (filmed by Martyna Wisniewska), which shows Ren and her band mates sharing intimate moments both on, and off stage during their tours with Refused, Thrice and La Dispute.

Ren articulately explains the feelings that inspired ‘Monstrous’: “(The track) is about feeling mined and drained and too much and not enough and, ultimately, monstrous. It’s also about how I sometimes feel on stage or on social media. Sometimes I find fronting a feminist band too much pressure from too many different directions.” Whilst Ren’s insecurities are laid bare here, with the band’s cathartic backdrop of noisy guitar and knockout drumming, ‘Monstrous’ feels like a lesson in spine-strengthening self awareness.

Petrol Girls are currently on their UK tour, and are set to headline Oslo in Hackney tonight (16th Jan – event details here). The band will then head to Scotland and Ireland later this month, before heading off to play European shows in February. They’ll also be visiting North America for the first time, where they’ll be playing SXSW and New Colossus later this year. 2020 looks set to be another successful year for these feminist punks.

Watch the video for ‘Monstrous’ below and follow Petrol Girls on Facebook for more updates.

Petrol Girls UK & Ireland Tour Dates 2020
Jan 16: LONDON @ Oslo
Jan 17: NOTTINGHAM @ The Bodega
Jan 18: MANCHESTER @ The Deaf Institute
Jan 19: GLASGOW @ Nice & Sleazy
Jan 21: BELFAST @ McHughs
Jan 22: DUBLIN @ Whelan’s
Jan 23: LIMERICK @ Kasbah Social Club​

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut