welcome back to the Skaject folks! today we’re returning to the Toasters – after their last EP, Recriminations, wasn’t picked up by any label, Toasters frontman Robert Hingley founded Moon Ska Records, and this album, Skaboom!, was released in 1987.

Talk is Cheap is the excellent, excellent opener here. love the way the bass and horns play around the steady guitar and drums across this track – excellent work. very funny to see a track about the ways the values of a movement can get softened when no actions back them up at this point in ska’s evolution. buddy, give it ten years, you’ll be asking for the talk back. i dig Pool Shark quite a bit, tbh. neat song. Weekend in L.A. is another of my fave tracks here – really dig the contrasting idyllic locations with spending time in LA, haha. plus, the choruses here are very very good. the turn after the opener in Shocker! is… wild. the track eventually gets its feet under it and turns into something interesting (especially over the bridge, which does some very cool percussion stuff) but it’s a very weird journey. Toast on the Coast is a very fun instrumental track – really enjoy this one. Manipulator’s p good, but i don’t got tons to say about it. Mr. Trouble doesn’t do a lot for me – just doesn’t land well. ABC’s a pretty funny track, haha. East Side Beat feels like the heart of this one – definitely my top track off this record. Now or Never is a bright and optimistic track, given the type of breakup it’s about. i imagine So Long, Buck HAD to be a bonus track – it’s such a strange place to go after the very good closer that Now or Never woulda been. v strange.

faves – Talk is Cheap, Weekend in L.A., East Side Beat, Now or Never
dislikes –

honestly i really enjoyed this album. i think the mixing quality on Hingley’s vocals are… kinda bad, but his performance is pretty good, and the rest of the quality of the tracks are really top notch. and make no mistake – the band is really on it on this record – tracks like Talk is Cheap and Now or Never have some really tight performances, and i really dig what they’re doing on tracks like ABC’s to stretch their legs a bit. really really cool record, and one i def advise checking out if you wanna hear some of the earliest American ska.

Skaboom! – 8/10

next week, it’s another Fishbone record with It’s a Wonderful Life!

previous: Meets Floyd Lloyd and the Potato 5  | next: It’s a Wonderful Life

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