Review by Ryan Leach
Snapper head honcho Peter Gutteridge is underrated.
Prior to the formation of Snapper, Gutteridge played in early lineups of the Clean and the Chills, and released a great EP (Singles) with the Kilgour brothers under the moniker of the Great Unwashed. In the late ‘80s, Gutteridge focused on his own material; Snapper became an outlet for his songs. An amazing eponymous EP was released in 1989, containing the infectious track “Buddy”; a great Stuart Page-directed video for the track followed.
In 1992, Snapper released their first LP, Shotgun Blossom, on Flying Nun. The album is stunning. Closest reference points for Shotgun Blossom would be Darklands,White Light/White Heat, and Suicide’s Self-titled album. Gutteridge handled vocal, guitar and keyboard duties for Snapper, with Christine Voice backing him on vocals and keyboards. The match supplied heavenly harmonies over heavily distorted instruments. Drummer Alan Haig took notes from Maureen Tucker and Bobby Gillespie, employing their heavy backbeat but with added cymbal work indebted to Tommy Ramone. Dominic Stones was no slouch himself, adding great lead guitar work. This formula all comes together on Shotgun Blossom tracks like “Pop Your Shine” and “Eyes That Shine”; and while “Dark Sensation” slows the tempo down, the distortion and desperation of Gutteridge’s songwriting is still present.
Shotgun Blossom is a record that deserves broader recognition. Its relative obscurity, no doubt due to it being a New Zealand release, is criminal. Of course, this record is highly recommended.