Violent By Design*...
I am always happy when I "discover" a new favourite group (even if this means that I have to make one more addition in the vast list of artists who I meticulously "follow" their catalogue). This post has a very predominant punk character, introducing 2 albums and one single that I am proud that are parts of my record collection.
Baby by Petrol Girls is a 2022 release which, I have to admit, caught me off guard. Even though the English quartet are not a new band (they were founded in 2012) their third album is the first one that came under my attention. Bearing a very strong political agenda, (song titles like Baby, I Had an Abortion or lyrics like the ones of Violent by Design, leave no room for ambiguity) and musically combining the ferocity of Black Flag with the Jazzy experimentations of Fugazi and Sonic Youth are one of the fresher breaths of energy in the current punk scene.
You take their advice? Do you stay home at night We're more likely to die In our homes at the hands of a man we know
Petrol Girls reminded me of another kick-ass punk band from London the -unfortunately- short-lived Pettybone.
Pettybone were multinational in their formation, embracing also strong politics but playing slightly more ferocious and aggressive Hardcore as delivered in the 31 minutes of their sole album From Desperate Times Comes Radical Minds which unfortunately did not manage to make the impact it deserved to make. Check their awesome cover of Justice Tonight originally by The Clash.
In the alley ways and half way houses
Amongst tortured souls and broken hearts
The rejects and hopeless, forgotten and lost
Surviving but by a thread
No dirty tricks or political mess
During my Swiss punk explorations, I have come into The Bastards and their re-released 3-song 7 inch single from 1979. Even though their music is not the most original thing out there (after all its early punk that we are talking about), their story is fascinating! Formed in Geneva back in 1977 by Sandro Sursock, an aristocrat exiled from Egypt to Switzerland (!) whose cinematic life around the early Swiss hippie and punk scene is amazingly narrated here they are some of the pioneers of the Swiss punk scene (if we can consider that has ever been one...). Schizo Terrorist (despite the obvious influence by The Ramones) is one of their best songs.
*The Blog post title is taken from the same-named song by Petrol Girls