Petrol Girls' Raging Post-Hardcore Turns Tender For 'Sister'
Petrol Girls' Talk of Violence was one of the most feral records of 2016, a post-hardcore debut burned in chaotic and spiraling riffs, a full-throttle rhythm section and the scorching, truth-telling voice of Ren Aldridge. It's a restless record that rages against the physical, mental and structural violence inflicted upon women and non-binary people with its own musical violence in turn.
There is a necessary but emotional turmoil incurred by screaming the pain of patriarchal injustice, but Aldridge finds strength through her sisterhood. That's the inspiration behind "Sister," from the London-based band's forthcoming EP, The Future is Dark.
"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," Aldridge writes in a press release. "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 video for "Sister" opens with women and non-binary people sharing what sisterhood means to them, then alternates between visuals of an umbilical cord being pulled out of a sculpture and acts of resistance, solidarity and joy. For all of its sonic heft, "Sister" is among the furious band's most tender tracks, as Aldridge closes with her truth: "I would be lost without sisters / Of both choosing and blood / Who've shared the truest friendship / Solidarity / Love."
The Future is Dark comes out Sept. 14 viaHassle Records.
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