Peter and the Test Tube Babies – “The Shallot” (Nuclear Blast)
Punks not dead. Well, tell that to US Customs who unceremoniously deported founder vocalist Peter Bywaters for hilariously impersonating their Pres earlier this year. Little of course did they know that humor and eccentricity were bywords for Peter and the Test Tube Babies, whose punk antics have been going since 1978 when the band were formed by Bywaters and guitarist Del ‘Strangefish’ Greening. Along with similar groups like the Toy Dolls and Splodgenessabound, the group were soon classified into their own sub genre affectionately known as ‘punk pathetique’. Despite punk imploding not long after, Peter and the Test Tube Babies kept going,releasing an impressive 13 albums throughout the 80s, 90s and well into the millennium years! With a growing punk revival, the band have released “The Shallot” which has to be their most impressive release to date – not in the least being on a renowned label like Nuclear Blast. Still, anyone who’s seen the band will attest to their serious side in delivering a professional show, while Peter and Del support themselves outside the band by being an English teacher and punk rock radio host respectively. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that “The Shallot” is 14 tracks of the same tongue in cheek humor sung through absurd lyrics and resplendent with strange titles rooted in the late 70s. That said, the music is something else being precision tight in its delivery while being consistently authentic in its punk as f–k attitude – not to mention ultra catchy! Made up of a range of pure English punk, hardcore, punk pop, ska punk and modern punk, songs like ‘None Of Your Fucking Business’ (dedicated to mobile users), ‘Crap Californian Punk Band’ (you know who) and the hilarious ‘When Girlfriends Attack’ (speaks for itself) complete with authentic English banter will have you laughing as you’re singing your ass off and bopping to the beat. Close to 40 years on, Peter and the Test Tube Babies not only prove they’ve still got plenty to say, but can still deliver alongside their younger peers to generations of fans who regard them as anything but pathetique.