While most early oi bands outgrew tunes about pubs and class consciousness -- or found better-paying jobs -- Peter & the Test Tube Babies stayed pissed for almost two decades. The current tour marks the first time the outfit has traveled without the original lineup: Both bassist Trapper and drummer Ogs found said better-paying jobs as roadies for other bands.
Although the loss of one-half of the Babies might send a shiver through the braces of longtime fans, one listen to the group's most recent album, Alien Pubduction, will get the gruffest of skinheads -- the non-racist sort who love classic oi -- lacing up their nine-holes for the latest appearances. Cuts like "Why Bother," a tune about aging rock stars who tour greatest-hits sets with one new song, prove that last-nameless Peter's wit is still cutting and incisive. And "Talkshow," a hilarious jab at American daytime television, features full-throttle guitar work that nods to oi's two-finger salute. The album also boasts guest slurring by G.B.H., another old-school punk band, on the sure-to-be holiday classic "I'm Getting Pissed for Christmas."
-- Robert Arriaga
Peter & the Test Tube Babies play Friday, Sept. 25, at 6 and 9 p.m. at the Cocodrie, 1024 Kearny (at Broadway). Tickets are $5; call 986-6678.