Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Punk Singles Collection - (1996)

Chasing the Brighton-based punks from their "Banned from the Pubs" debut in 1982 through to the "Keys to the City" 45 three years later, The Punk Singles Collection is a reminder that, for all the on-stage hijinks and the complaints that they were essentially a novelty band, Peter & the Test Tube Babies were actually responsible for some of the hardest-hitting singles of the early '80s Oi! heyday. As usual with the series, 23 tracks round up both A- and B-sides, so a big hurrah for the resurrection of some genuinely classic flips -- "Moped Lads," "Up Yer Bum," "Trapper Ain't Got a Bird" -- and the frenetic live blitz that rounded up "Spirit of Keith Moon" and "Vicars Wank Too" at the very end of the original band's career. "Rotting in the Fart Sack," too, marks out the Test Tubes as a genuinely inspired assault on all that the polite music critic held dear -- and, if The Punk Singles Collection doesn't quite contradict the notion that everything this band did was intended as a joke, at least it has a good laugh trying. (

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