I have listened to Petrol Girls’ latest offering, Cut and Stitch on headphones and on my stereo, and let me say, this is an album that demands to be played, and played loudly. From the spoken word intro to the last note on the album, this is a true feminist manifesto that is perfect for the times and should not – cannot – be ignored.
Easily one of the most popular female-fronted bands around, Petrol Girls are at the forefront of the new feminist punk movement that feels like riot grrrl all over again. And considering what is going on the world over with women’s rights and equality, it makes sense that there would be another rise in feminist punk music. Our music has always been a voice for rebellion and warning, and this album speaks those truths fearlessly.
Petrol Girls are not afraid to experiment with different sounds and styles on this album, as evidenced by the switching between spoken word and the expected screaming-singing style. The short, acoustic duet, “Interlude” is perfectly named and a much-needed breather in the middle of the album. Cut & Stitch is a daring album; one written by a band that had a unique vision for what they wanted to say. It feels like they didn’t care if it was commercially viable, nor what others thought. This is what they need to get out and share with the world. This is evident in all the new directions this album takes us in – including a lot of songs that are more melodic than we have come to expect from Petrol Girls.
The sing-song “Monstrous” is probably my favorite song on the album, though it is hard to choose. “No Love For a Nation” stands out with its male lead vocals that really work – and it is a powerful, anti-nationalist song. “Talk in Tongues”, with its male/female vocals reminds me of Huggy Bear – and really works. On this album, I find the band is often at their best when utilizing their female/male dual vocals.
All in all, Cut & Stitch is a great album. It is a different album that will not meet your expectations, nor will it disappoint. It will, many times, eclipse the band’s prior works. More than anything, though, it is an important album that speaks to the times we live in, with unabashed honesty and exposes many brutal truths about what is going on around the world. This will make it one of those records for the ages, as much as the uniqueness of the music contained within Cut & Stitch.