Petrol Girls – ‘Some Thing’ [Review]
In a culture that’s become increasingly impersonal and dehumanising, bands willing to get their hands dirty and dig into real, human issues are more essential than ever before. Turn on the radio and you’ll hear plenty of auto-tuned and hyperquantized songs about going to a club and getting “crunk on da flo’,” but turn it off and look around you and you immediately realise that the radio doesn’t reflect reality.
Because it’s easier to bury your head in the sand than it is to take even the smallest of actions. Petrol Girls get this – and thank fuck for that. Again, we need bands willing to stick their necks out a bit; without them, well, we’re stuck with R’n’B breakup songs on mainstream playlist rotation for the rest of our lives.
Some Thing is guaranteed to make even the most jaded muso’s ears prick up from note one. Slug‘s intro juggles time signatures with hard-earned effortlessness and beyond-cathartic aggression, compelling repeated plays and the frustrating question: What the fuck just happened?
The answer: Who the hell cares? This is badass!
This is a good time to mention that behind the razor-edged guitars and pretzel-time rhythms, Petrol Girls identify as an explicitly feminist band. Politically-inclined bands tend to stand head and shoulders above their peers in terms of musicality (see Sonic Boom Six, Enter Shikari, and Hacktivist for three examples off the top of my head), and Petrol Girls are a prime example of a relatively new band continuing that tradition. I also have a theory as to why that pattern exists.
Politically-charged music tends to attract haters. Even when your goal is to help bring down an obviously ridiculous standardised prejudice, such as sexism, you’re going to meet resistance. This means that what you do needs to have as few holes and weak spots as possible. You can’t afford to give haters any ammunition.
Some Thing is rock solid. Every track (including the three bonus tracks present on CD copies) is awesome, fuelled by punky energy and the desire to make a difference. It’s genuinely applaudable.
For me, it’s all about second track Protagonist. Everything that makes Some Thing great is encapsulated in that one song – and there’s also an always-welcome nod in the direction of Rage Against The Machine, in the form of a full-bodied Riff-with-a-capital-R and stab-happy bridge section. Lyrically, it’s a standout stunner, aiming a middle finger and acidic spit in the direction of male dominance and objectification.
Overall, you just need to listen to this EP. And if you’ve read this far and you’re wondering why a straight white guy would ever support a feminist band, click here for the answer.
TMMP RATING: 92%
Some Thing drops February 19.