Like they've never been away...
UK Oi! veterans Peter and the Test Tube Babies have pulled off one of the surprises of the year with their new album That Shallot (geddit?). Not only were they able to stay sober enough to record the bloody thing, they’ve also managed to come up with what I’m sure will be one of the punk albums of the year into the bargain!
Rammed to the gunwhales with pissed and proud anthems like CU Next Tuesday and the actually very-Business like terrace anthem None of Your Fucking Business, That Shallot is a riot of tummy-troubling chuckles from start to finish.
That’s apart from middle-aged angst pieces like the excellent Wrong, or When Girlfriends Attack, both of which are sure to touch a few male nerves in listener land; In fact the only low point of the record is the cod-country Silicone Beer Gut, which is a bit twee and doesn’t really fit in with everything else the band has to offer.
Tramp Killer, a song that sounds vaguely like a James Bond theme but is actually about Cider, is superbly ridiculous, and if the slightly obvious Crap Californian Punk Bands brings shooting, fish and barrels to mind it at least has a chorus strong enough to make up for the crassness.
Youth of Today is real UK82 rabble rousing – albeit at thirty five years remove and now from the viewpoint of the angry middle-aged – and the freaky Pissedenstein rounds things out with a bit of Dead Kennedys jangle and a horrorpunk vibe that’s a bit of a surprise but pretty good nonetheless.
The thing about Peter and the Test Tube Babies is that really they defy something as pseudo-scientific as an album review. You either get it or you don’t. And if you don’t get the Agnostic Front-like brilliance of Say What You Want then there really is no hope for you. There really isn’t.
Up the punx!!
Peter and the Test Tube Babies release That Shallot through Arising Empire on September 15th