By the time they reach their second decade, your average punk band’s conventional career arc would usually see them seeking to expand their sound, or pursuing success more single-mindedly having grown sick of struggling.
Or they might try to rekindle the fire of their early records, not always convincingly. No such creative dilemmas appear to be affecting Petrol Girls on this third album, Baby.
The quartet, now based in Graz, Austria, still make the hairs of your speakers stand on end with the force of their assault on tracks such as Violent By Design and Preachers, either side of blending spiky post-punk and coruscating, Slits-y invective on Feed My Fire and Baby, I Had An Abortion.
A key difference from previous records, though, is evidenced on the wicked cackle coda-ing on that last track, suggesting that they’ve decided it’s okay to have a laugh while making serious points, in contrast to the more po-faced political hardcore they’ve leaned into in the past. All of which makes for an exhilarating, incandescent rebel yell of a record.