Petrol Girls' Baby is an exhilarating, incandescent rebel yell of an album

Austria-based British agitpunks Petrol Girls sharpen their hooks on third album Baby

Petrol Girls - Baby cover art
(Image: © Hassle)

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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.

Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock