Track Of The Day: Petrol Girls – ‘Sister’

Soft, but striking and seminal in its message; Petrol Girls‘ latest single ‘Sister’ is a remarkable new anthem championing the power of sisterhood. The track is taken from the band’s upcoming EP The Future Is Dark, released via Hassle Records on 14th September.

The accompanying video features footage submitted by Petrol Girls’ allies and fans, as well shots of our favourites Dream Nails and Witch Fever performing live. Speaking about the new single, front woman Ren Aldridge explains:

“I’ve been wanting for us to write a song about sisterhood for a long time, because it’s these relationships that have had the biggest impact on my life and that form the heart of my feminism. I’ve got two younger blood sisters and a few very close friends that I consider sisters, as well as our family dog Skye who passed away last summer but I loved her like a sister too. All of those relationships have taught me so much. They’ve guided me, taken care of me, made me laugh til I cry and nurtured me into better versions of myself. I think society often puts too much emphasis on sexual relationships, when sisterhood is incredibly important and powerful. This song celebrates a relationship that can pose a real threat to capitalism and patriarchy because it challenges competition and is built on care and trust.”

The title of Petrol Girls’ upcoming EP The Future Is Dark, further reflects their unwavering belief in the strength of sisterhood. 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. She writes about accepting uncertainty and not fearing the dark or the unknown, because actually we don’t know what will happen next. She describes despair and optimism both as forms of certainty that create grounds for not acting, whereas hope pushes us to act and make change in whatever ways we can.

Ren ruminates further on this point: “The dark, just like the future, is full of possibilities. It makes me think about how its only in the dark that we can see the stars and think about ourselves as just tiny parts of this cosmic system, as part of a bigger picture. I find it really grounding and inspiring to feel individually small but part of something huge.”

We’re definitely proud to share Petrol Girls’ sisterhood ethics. Watch the video for ‘Sister’ below and follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Pre-order Petrol Girls’ The Future Is Dark EP here.
Available on limited etched 12” vinyl with hand-screenprinted sleeve.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LIVE: Petrol Girls – Shacklewell Arms, London 25.04.18

Loud, lethal and life-affirming, Petrol Girls‘ headline show at The Shacklewell Arms on Wednesday night was a  furious, raw, frenzy of noise. The band, who recently signed to Hassle Records, packed out the venue with the help of their friends Pretty Pistol and Screaming Toenail (aka our new favourite band.)

Adorned in a Dream Nails band tee, Petrol Girls’ front-woman Ren was energy incarnate, pushing girls in the crowd to the front with electrifying stage presence. Fans of Dream Nails’ may have noticed the familiar face of their vocalist Janey in the crowd too, stood at the front alongside several other fans, all of whom had their eyes fixed on the stage.

Together, Liepa, Joe, Zock & Ren tore through a set-list that included tracks ‘False Peace’, ‘Treading Water’, ‘Restless’ and ‘Phallocentric’ – all taken from their 2016 debut Talk Of Violence. The songs topics range from militant disregard for oppressive patriarchal values, to a refreshingly loud promotion of female sexual pleasure. On new single ‘Survivor’, the band continue to tackle the issue of sexual violence. Ren prefaced the track with words of solidarity to survivors of this abuse and urged them to remember that just because something bad has happened to you – you are not defined by your trauma.

Between songs, Ren also spoke of her activism – which includes an essay in a collection titled ‘Nasty Women’ – and told her crowd that it’s okay to say “NO” to fascists and oppressors, whether that’s in political or personal spheres. It seems there’s no differentiation between the two for Petrol Girls and closing song ‘Touch Me Again’ proved how vehemently they believe this. The track’s visceral live delivery made it impossible not to chant in unison with Ren as she repeatedly screamed the line “Touch me again, and I will fucking kill you!” She finished the gig on her knees, sweating, smiling and probably exhausted, but the crowd around her and her band mates lit up with rounds of congratulatory applause.

Petrol Girls are a talented band with an uncompromising ability to motivate, entertain and inspire listeners to speak out against all forms of injustice. Their furious blend of aggressive, cathartic, punk songs had more than the desired effect on their crowd at The Shacklewell Arms, and we can’t wait to catch them live again. See you at the front next time.

Follow Petrol Girls on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut