Some bands will do anything to promote a new album, but legendary UK punks Peter And The Test Tube Babies got all the pre-launch publicity they could wish for, and all it took was frontman Peter Bywaters being refused entry to America, then interrogated for hours before being deported to get the news column inches. Good old Donald Trump’s America… freedom of speech and all that.
Anyway, just over a month after that adventure, Peter and The Test Tube Babies have dropped their latest album, That Shallott, via Nuclear Blast. Now here in this particular corner of CB’s little empire we’re huge fans of all things “proper” punk, and given the strong releases put out by many of their contemporaries of late we had high hopes for this one.
What with Punk not being dead and all that.
In Yer Face opens things up with a proper Punk stomper, dubious taste, clashing guitars, shouty lyrics and a drunken sing-along chorus that rolls back the years. Yep, this is what punk should be and it’s great to see them as politically correct as ever. The track listing is a warning of what’s to be expected with titles like None Of Your Fucking Business, C U Next Tuesday, Tramp Killer and When Girlfriends Attack showing that, yep, it’s all good wholesome stuff.
Things kick along in pretty much the same vein until the band take a turn down some weird country back road for Silicone Beer Gut. You know when you do the audio equivalent of a double take and check the shuffle hasn’t kicked in and taken you off to the nether regions of your iPod?
Well that, exactly that. There’s even a Yee-Ha thrown in.
One track that definitely got the foot tapping was the imaginatively titled Crap Californian Punk Band which is, frankly, f’kin brilliant. Aiming a sardonic side swipe at the fashionable “punk” (with inverted commas and a small p) bands and their limousine and glossy magazine lifestyles. “My mohawk is insured, by teenage girls we are adored”
No one does punk quite like the old masters. Cock Sparrer, The Exploited and all the “veterans” flying the flag in the face of a fashion obsessed music scene. Well Peter And The Test Tube Babies are another of the bands that, against all logic and good taste are still doing what they do, what they’ve always done, as well as they’ve ever done it. That Shallott is exactly what you’d expect from a great punk album. It’s not high art and it’s not going to see the band getting interviewed on This Morning any time soon but what the hell, I f’kin love it and if you’re a punk fan I’m pretty sure you’re going to love it too.