Straitjacket Fits’ debut release, the Life In One Chord EP appeared in 1987 and the album Hail was released in 1988. Both were recorded at The Lab in Auckland with Terry Moore (from The Chills). This reissued version of Hail is a combination of both those records as it was originally released in the UK by Rough Trade.
Hail is an album that beautifully showcases the many strengths of Straitjacket Fits in the early part of their development. It is a record full of furious off-piste guitaring and startling vocals anchored by a granite hard rhythm section but that also showcases gentler melodic material including a cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘So Long Marianne’. But generally the songs are more experimental in nature with a considerable range of material from Andrew Brough’s standout ‘Fabulous Things’ to the vigorous guitar noise of Shayne Carter’s ‘Grate’.