It is hard to believe that Peter And The Test Tube Babies have been around for nearly 40 years now. That’s 40 years of their own brand of punk that has won over a legion of fans and has never strayed from that traditional punk sound. In fact, that is the first thing that hits you when you take a listen to their brand new album – That Shallot – and that is that this is the true punk sound. There’s no electronica or moments of pop-punk… no this is the real kind of punk that you want to hear when you head to a pub. Yes, the kind that Begbie from Trainspotting would wholly endorse.
That traditional punk sound is right there from Track One – ‘In Yer Face’ – a track that will very quickly win over any punk fans out there. It is quickly followed up by the very catchy ‘C U Next Tuesday’ which is guaranteed to have you singing along after just one listen.
There are times when Peter And The Test Tube Babies do try to do something a little different – some work and some don’t. The brass sections on ‘None Of Your Fucking Business’ and ‘Pissedenstein’ work because the rest of the track doesn’t lose its gruffness. There is the dark, foreboding feel of ’17 Red’ which is one of my favourite tracks on the album. However, the very silly ‘Silicone Beer Gut’ is probably way too out there for serious punk fans… especially the fiddle.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a Peter And The Test Tube Babies album if there wasn’t a bit of humour to be found out it as well. ‘Tramp Killer’ is a great James Bond parody song, while both ‘When Girlfriends Attack’ and ‘What Next’ will get a chuckle out of any listener who is in a relationship. The funny ‘Crap American Punk Bands’ is not only witty but is one of the catchiest songs that you are likely to hear this year.
The highs on That Shallot do largely outweigh the lows and once again Peter And The Test Tube Babies have delivered a real gem of an album. This is punk at its traditional best… an album to savour.