TAILGUNNER – Guns For Hire

Tailgunner - Guns For Hire album cover art.
  • 5.9/10
    TAILGUNNER - Guns For Hire - 5.9/10


Label: Fireflash Records
Release date: July 14, 2023

User Review
5.5/10 (1 vote)

There are often young bands that come out paying homage to the great Heavy Metal bands of the past, and Tailgunner is no exception. Owing their style and sound to legendary bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Megadeth, etc., Tailgunner brings us their own take with their debut album Guns For Hire on Fireflash Records.

Familiar Territory

The ten tracks on Guns For Hire were mixed and mastered by Olof Wikstrand of Enforcer, giving the album an almost vintage flavor, while matching the style of metal these youths have created.

“There was never a conscious decision to play ‘old school’ to us, that’s the way it’s supposed to sound“, adds Thomas Hewson, bass player and main songwriter who always had a burning ambition and total undying love for Heavy Metal. “From the moment I heard AC/DC as a child, I’ve never looked back. Seeing Iron Maiden live at 12 years old was all the confirmation I needed that this was to be my life’s path. I want people to feel empowered when they hear our music, that’s what great Heavy Metal does for me. Music should make you feel like you can take on the world!“

Final Notes

Tailgunner – Guns For Hire is not breaking any new ground musically. The compositions mirror many older Iron Maiden songs in the simple way of going down a 2 steps, then climbing back to the root. The arrangements are fairly standard as well, making the songs feel quite familiar from the first listen. While there is nothing wrong with any of this, it also fails to excite the listener. On a positive note, the band does a very good job on the material, and the album is an easy listen for fans of classic Heavy Metal from the NWOBHM era. The bottom line, Tailgunner – Guns For Hire is an ok album, that shows promise for the future of the band, and is worth a listen.

Tailgunner band photo by Keir Siewert.
Photo: Keir Siewert

Tailgunner – Lineup

  • Craig Cairns – Vocals
  • Patrick van der Völlering – Guitar
  • Zach Salvini – Guitar
  • Thomas Hewson – Bass
  • Sam Caldwell – Drums

Guns For Hire – Track Listings

  1. Shadows Of War
  2. Guns For Hire
  3. White Death
  4. Revolution Scream
  5. Futures Lost
  6. New Horizons
  7. Warhead
  8. Crashdive
  9. Blood For Blood
  10. Rebirth



  • Bryce Van Patten

    Bryce is an audio engineer and a graphic designer here at Metal Express Radio. From the day he purchased his first album (Machine Head by Deep Purple), he has had a passion for heavy music, which has influenced his whole life. Bryce is from the great Pacific Northwest in USA, and has played in metal bands like Babylon, Holy Terror, The Wild Dogs, Warhead and Egypt through the 80s. He had his first interview for the Portland, Oregon publication The Rock Rag with guitarist Paul Gilbert in his Racer X days. Then he was honored to get to have drinks, and talk for an hour with the legendary Dan McCafferty of Nazareth for his second interview. In 2013, he spent an amazing hour talking to Andi Deris of Helloween, which was the high point of his heavy metal journalism.   In the year 2001, he formed Man in Black Music Publishing. They released recordings by several local bands, and in the spirit of the old Metal Massacre compilations, he created a 2-album series called The Defenders of Metal. The albums featured classic styled Metal bands from all around the world, with bands from Australia to England, and from Argentina to Russia. Currently, he is the producer/creator/vocalist of the Metal band The Black Tuesdays.

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