PETER & THE TEST TUBE BABIES – THAT SHALLOT
Release date: 15 September 2017
Label: Nuclear Blast
- In Yer Face
- C U Next Tuesday
- None of Your F*****g Business
- Silicone Beer Gut
- Youth of Today
- Say What You Want
- Tramp Killer
- When Girlfriends Attack
- What Next
- Crap Californian Punk Band
- 17 Red
It’s been a full five years since those likely lads from Peter & The Test Tube Babies have released a recording and, to be brutally honest, the two are completely different representations of the bands capabilities. I am thrilled to report that the latter release is the better by far. Perhaps the looming 40th Anniversary next year has culminated into what I would describe as their very finest collection.
Parody and punk sub-genre references aside, it would appear that the last 40 years of experience and creativity has lurched forth on this recording and made manifest into something truly terrific. If you ever were inclined to explore the sound of Peter & The Test Tube Babies and buy an album, then That Shallot is, most definitely the one to own. To qualify that bold statement to a degree, I have personally enjoyed the groups offerings since they made, albeit respectfully, a song referencing Her majesty’s prowess in the art of fellatio back in 1982. Their later recordings have perhaps launched my memories back to their early heyday, rather than real enjoyment of their contemporary skill, but That Shallot is the exception. This is truly sensational and stamps their place in history as masters of their craft.
Now, I have asked Peter directly and I can assure readers that the title is not an odd metaphor, nor or one particular offending shallot accidentally sat on during recording, but rather a play on words that we trust ins not representative of a finale. That’s your lot? I do hope not.
Regardless of alleged Trump parodies preventing Peter permission to enter the US, I believe the US Customs may have giggled shamelessly all the while at what was supposed to be fun. If only the UK authorities had afforded closer attention to the band’s music when they released a covered on of Gary Glitters “I’m the Leader of the Gang (I Am)” and later recorded Child Molester on the Pissed and Proud album a couple of years later. Man, was that an early call. Nevertheless Peter, next time say you were extracting the Michael from Boris Johnson. Well, good job they didn’t name Tramp Killer something else or the CIA would be knocking.
The track Crap Californian Punk Band and it’s terrific video clip have enjoyed celebration the world over. Lars Frederiksen providing additional vocals on the track and, at the end of the video clip, asking of Peter “if you did want integrity, why did you join that crap band from Brighton”, is priceless. It certainly provides a suitable Rancid appeal, but certainly no sickening and pungent stench. Just perfect.
This album is a treasure trove of brilliant modern day social commentary, ranging from the complete lad’s guide to relationships, right through to advised vernacular, most appropriate to unwanted inquiries. I am quite certain that I have not been alone in being forced into past unwanted conversations, strewn with stupid questions when the suggested response from Peter and the lads will be my reply from this day forth, namely None of Your Fucking Business. I really must thank you for the band for that little gem.
Wrong is a sensational account of contemporary relationships. I think this should be played in school so young lads will understand what they are getting into. That and, very closely followed by When Girlfriends Attack, although Peter goes to great pains to explain that this is not a reference to his current girlfriend, but a previous girlfriend. A psychopathic girlfriend and absolutely NOT the wonderful lady with which he currently shares time. Perhaps future recording will have reference to a Beautiful, Intelligent, Talented Creative, Honest lady that is his current companion, but this song is not about her. Nevertheless, this track carries a superb air of foreboding akin to the frosty reception when she has checked your phone and found a less than favorable text or two. That looming and inevitable barrage of abuse that is sure to be delivered just the second you think you’re alright. Not that I would know anything about that, right dear? Listening to this track I cannot shake the distinct impression that Peter’s vocal delivery is akin that that an early Lemmy. Wow, love it.
But at least there’s light at the end of the relationship tunnel with Honesty and the magnificent 17 Red, one of Derek “Strangefish” Greening’s own creations. Sorry The Pukes, ill ‘ave that back my son.
And while addressing all that is magnificent, I must make comment on Tramp Killer which clearly the band will be supplying as the title track for a future Bond film. Band friend and guitarist Andy Agro is fortunate enough to be married to the owner of the superb voice, brilliantly highlighted on this incredible song. Honestly, just superb.
Silicone Beer Gut is a country style twanger, right down to the occasional yeehaw thrown about. Just a brilliant song, truly highlighting the diverse musical styles of offer and is demonstrative the bands years of experience.
Youth of Today is downright killer stuff and quite Very Sham Sham 69 in style. That real punk rock feel, but conveying and important message to those of us who are becoming older, cantankerous and less tolerant of you little shits.
The collection is completed perfectly with Pissedenstein, although presented in perfect band style lyrically, it is a tremendously catchy, hooky and damn fine song musically. Your realisation that it is sequenced to perfection is made manifest in your desire to go straight back to track one.
That Shallot is an album that truly illustrates what forty years’ experience and knowledge achieves. Perhaps accidentally, maybe inevitably, but I would prefer to believe that Peter and the Test Tube Babies have just decided to hit us with a real cracker for their 40th next year. Well done lads. Mission accomplished.