Like Kurt Cobain, charismatic leader Shayne Carter – brandishing a left-handed black Les Paul – wrote smart, melodic and infectious pop songs that he then dirtied up.
Primal garage rock rhythms and a maelstrom of distorted psychedelic guitars gave Carter’s classic 60s-style songwriting a very modern feel.
Live, New Zealand’s pop export Straightjacket Fits could trash and thrash things up gloriously. Sweat running down his face, with his shirt drenched, Carter was a tense angry young man slashing at his guitar and delivering lyrics in an acrid, edgy voice reminiscent of This Years Model-period Elvis Costello.
Writer-vocalist-guitarist Andrew Brough was replaced in 1991 with guitarist Mark Petersen, who used his Rickenbacker to deliver a slew of intoxicating Beatles-esque riffs.