PETER AND THE TEST TUBE BABIES: The Mating Sounds of South American Frogs: CD

Strange how some albums can bring back a flood of memories and moods in flashes, much like smells sometimes do. This, like Husker Du’s New Day Rising (hell, who am I kidding? Change that to all of Husker’s releases), reminds me of long ago summers. Flashes of long won (and lost) fights, lost loves, my younger brother putting this on for the first time in my aunt’s basement in Spokane and feeling cheated ’cause it wasn’t as “hard” as Banned form the Pubs and then having it turn into one of the most played albums in the collection throughout the ’80s, driving around in a big-ass car covered from roof to tires with assorted graffiti just begging to get pulled over by a pig looking for someone to fuck with, and long-ago gigs in long forgotten backyards are all tied to the songs contained on this, the band’s second album. Like Husker Du, this album is up to its eyeballs in hooks and catchy guitar bits (maybe not as overdriven, densely packed and played as Bob Mould’s famous noodling, but there nonetheless), yet manages to maintain more than enough edge to leave no doubt in the listener’s mind that this is a punk rock record made by a decidedly punk band. Lyrically, this ain’t the Clash or anything, but Peter does get his point across succinctly and the music is so damn good that it doesn’t really matter in the long run. My only gripe is that the album version of “Blown Out Again” has been deleted and the single version included twice. Aside from that, no complaints from this end of the world. Easily one of the best punk records ever released. Consider this mandatory listening, kiddies.

 –jimmy (Captain Oi)