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Friday, October 28, 2005

Review: Peter & The Test Tube Babies - Loud Blaring Punk Rock

Peter& walked (and still do probably) the line between Oi and 2nd Wave British Street punk in the early 80s. Their niche was twisted humor, "Transvestite" their most popular laff/cringe-along. "Maniac" was the big hit on their other side, the one like the Anti-Nowhere League, who could be funny too but in a mock-nihilist vein. Peter& don't fit the common conception of Oi, but then again so don't Cocksparrer in a world that sees Oi only as a National Front stereotype. New Oi obliterated old Oi, revealing it for what it really is - pub punk for yobs. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Loud Blaring Punk Rock came out in 1994, a no-man's land in the career in any old punk band. I was going to be more harsh in my review until I came across this, where the circumstances of the recordings are explained. "So, we hit upon the idea of recording an album using their songs and some of our really old songs that were so bad we'd never had the front to record them before, stuff like 'I Lust For The Disgusting Things In Life' which lets face it, is awful."

Loud Blaring Punk Rock isn't bad - it's just doesn't stand out. It does everything right by genre standards but every song begins, middles and ends with no reason to give it much thought or a second listen. You only need to hear 15 seconds of anything to get it. There's a bit of The Exploited added and the tasteless level is high without the redeeming value of cleverness. "Pick Yer Nose (and eat it)" is about picking your nose and eating it, and the cavalier tastelessness of "Breast Cancer" might even offend Tesco Vee, who himself took it too far with "Crippled Children Suck". If anyone disagrees with me, come back if your own child becomes crippled and we'll share some yucks.

The only hits package with "Transvestite", "Maniac" and the live "Elvis Is Dead" is this one, the only one you should own, and also one you should own because it's a freakin' treasure trove.


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