During the nine years that Andrea Beltramo-Shay spent as Snap-Her lead singer/bassist, she was often compared to former-Runaway-turned-solo-star Joan Jett.
And, to be sure, there are elements of Jett's vocal style in Beltramo-Shay's singing. But while Jett is essentially a punk-influenced hard rocker, the Los Angeles-based Snap-Her provided forceful, snarling, totally in-your-face punk and punk-pop with an old-school outlook -- old school as in heavily influenced by the classic American and British punk bands of the late '70s and early '80s. Some of the trio's work is pop-influenced, but not in a slick, glossy way -- and certainly not in the way that emo bands like Blink-182, Fenix TX, and the Sloppy Meateaters are pop-influenced. For Snap-Her, punk-pop meant owing an artistic debt to the Ramones, the Buzzcocks, X-Ray Spex, and other great bands who were active during punk's early years. However, Snap-Her wasn't around in the late '70s or early '80s; Beltramo-Shay formed Snap-Her in 1993. And by that time, she had a resumé that included playing bass with the Creamers (another L.A.-based punk combo) and the De Rita Sisters. Beltramo-Shay also plays guitar and has backed singer Nina Hagen on that instrument. During their nine-year run, Snap-Her had more than their share of lineup changes. At times, Snap-Her had an all-female lineup; ex-members include bassist Lisa Pifer and drummer Sue Owens (among many others). But in the early 2000s, Beltramo-Shay was joined by two males: guitarist Vince Buckley and drummer Tom Curry (formerly of the '80s band Kommunity FK). Whomever was onboard, Snap-Her reflected Beltramo-Shay's creative vision -- and that vision often involved explicit, over-the-top lyrics and the sort of shock value that Fear's Lee Ving thrived on in the early '80s. Beltramo-Shay was never afraid to be politically incorrect, and the trio's song titles include "Fuck Earth Day," "Blue Balls," "I Hate Christmas," "Penile Implant," "Conformist Cunt," and "I Was a Teenage Lipstick Lesbian." On occasion, Snap-Her's humorous material reflected Beltramo-Shay's interest in bondage and S&M -- Beltramo-Shay, a dominatrix and fetish model, has written short stories for various S&M/B&D magazines (including Whips & Chains and Extreme Fetish). Snap-Her's full-length albums include 1995's It Smells, It Burns, It Stings and 1997's Queen Bitch of Rock & Roll, which was produced by Nicky Garratt of U.K. Subs fame; both of those albums were released by New Red Archives. In 2001, several Snap-Her songs were offered on the split CD Division 1, which also contains several tunes by the band Left Alone and came out on One Shot Records. In April 2002, Beltramo-Shay announced that Snap-Her was breaking up so that she could devote more time to her non-musical interests, which include writing books (both fiction and non-fiction), studying foreign languages, and tattooing. In early 2003, Beltramo-Shay was asked if she planned to record any solo albums or assemble a new Snap-Her lineup at some point; she replied, "No. After 18 years of playing in bands, I have moved on to the next chapter of my life." ~ Alex Henderson