Album Review: Peter And The Test Tube Babies – “That Shallot”
Now fast approaching their 40th anniversary, it’s fair to say that Peter And The Test Tube Babies were never exactly the most cerebral of punk bands. Probably best remembered for their early ’80s almost-hit Banned From The Pubs, they’ve doggedly stuck to their guns with That Shallot (yup, the puns ain’t getting any better with age either) being no less than their fourteenth album.
It’s very much an album that does what it says on the tin – the Test Tube Babies’ motto down the years has been “loud blaring punk rock” and That Shallot very much delivers on that front – C U Next Tuesday (Ryan Hamilton might just want his anagram back here guys), and None Of Your Fuckin’ Business are both about as subtle as a brick to the face, but as long as you aren’t going into this one with expectations of anything other than this, it’s alright for what it is.
There’s the odd attempt to bring a bit of variety to the silliness such as the punktry and western hoedown of Silicone Beer Gut, the Bond theme piss-take Tramp Killer, and the slow-building ode to online gambling 17 Red but for the most part, it’s sped-up punk rock, one part Pistols foul-mouthedness and one part Motorhead guitar chug, with a wantonly daft Toy Dolls style sense of humour underpinning the likes of the punk grandad rant Youth Of Today.
At least the Test Tube Babies have enough daftness to keep your interest going throughout the length of this album, such as the Psycho style strings on When Girlfriends Attack and the self-explanatory rant of Crap Californian Punk Band, which I’m sure most people who remember some of the dross we got inflicted with circa 2001-02 will be able to sympathise with.
Hand on heart, I always thought the Toy Dolls did this sort of music a bit better, but That Shallot is at least a solid addition to Peter And The Test Tube Babies' surprisingly large back catalogue. Don't go into this one expecting anything other than the usual wantonly silly cartoon yobbo-punk, but at least it's an enjoyable enough 40 minutes of loud blaring punk rock.