welcome back to the Skaject folks! today we’re looking at the 1990 release from the Toasters – This Gun For Hire.

this record kicks off with Worry – i think this one’s a bit sparse on the verses but it really helps the song blossom as they crest in the chorus. i like it a lot, and it helps that vocalist Robert Hingley puts in a pretty good performance with the emphasis the band puts on the rhythm. nice song. Havana, This Gun For Hire is our title track. really like this one too – leans heavily into the vibes of some of the British bands musically, with those buttery smooth horns and the emphasis on the upstroke rhythms. another strong track. One Track Mind has a really strong melody to it, but i don’t think it quick works for me. that little hook that carries through the verses is very very catchy, i just think the song coulda used a little tightening. Paralyzed feels like it leans pretty heavily into the “island” vibes, and it works pretty well. extremely pleasant. Don’t Say Forever is a more laidback track, and i dunno. i’m not a huge fan of this one. Choose is a STRANGE track – the mixing on this one, especially around the vocals, feels kinda off, but also the style feels very different, like a throwback to a previous decade of pop. dunno. odd one. Lies has a pretty nice hook to it. Roseanne goes for an almost dancier vibe? another odd one. back to back odd ones. East Side Beat – Live is really hard not to enjoy – they really know how to work the crowd and they absolutely pull out all the stops for this performance, haha. the smooth intro into the “are you ready? are you ready?” and then it breaks into the blistering intro to East Side Beat. good song. T-Time closes it out – pretty solid instrumental track.

faves – Worry, Havana, This Gun For Hire, East Side Beat – Live, T-Time
dislikes –

this was a decent collection of songs. this kinda collection is really hard for me to talk about – basically nothing here was bad, and a large chunk of the tracks were very nice, but the record as a whole just don’t connect for me and didn’t grab me. the big tracks here were pretty good, but there isn’t a lot of what i’m looking for in a record structurally, and the other tracks included just don’t do enough to make up for it, for me. if you’ve really enjoyed the previous two Toasters records, absolutely try this one out – i don’t think they’re disappointing at all and you’ll enjoy it, but i don’t think this’ll be in my favorites of their records.

This Gun For Hire – 5/10

next week, we return for Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra’s first full record, (Skapara’s Intro)

previous: Dance Hall Crashers | next: Skapara’s Intro

previous Toasters record: Thrill Me Up | next: New York Fever

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