May 10th, 2009

NZ Music Month

New Zealand Music Month - Day 10

Sometimes, when a group of musicians finds itself with two very gifted, very distinct and very different musical talents, amazing things happen for the short time between when the two meet and when the two spiral off into separate universes amidst clouds of acrimony. As it was the tension between John Lennon and Paul McCartney that propelled the Beatles, so it was that the tension between Shayne Carter (the one with the sneer) and Andrew Brough (the one with the glasses) gave the Straitjacket Fits their distinctive fire back in the late 1980s.

The Straitjacket Fits' first album, "Hail", suffered from a rather "ordinary" production job, and is a difficult piece of vinyl to find (and an almost impossible piece of plastic - I've never managed to find it on CD yet!). It was also grossly under-represented in the group's inevitable posthumous compilation (only one of its tracks made it onto said compilation, compared with three out of the four tracks on their debut EP). Luckily, the album's title track, Hail, is available on You Tube and is what I've included today.

On this recording the Straitjacket Fits were Shayne Carter - guitar, vocals; Andrew Brough - guitar, vocals; David Wood - bass; John Collie - drums. Brough left after their second album ("Melt"), and the band were never really the same after that (although they still put on a decent show even in their later years - I saw them at the Newfield, I think, some time around 1992).