The four-piece British rock band COLLATERAL bring their “new wave of classy rock” to a wider audience on February 21, 2020 when they release their debut (eponymous) album through Roulette Media Records.
It’s glamorous, intoxicating and heady… so what sort of audience will thrill to it?
You may already know that that this bunch of groovy, hairy guys emerged “ready formed” from the “Angelo Tristan Band” — a Kent-based country rock ensemble that was built around the core of the charismatic, fashionista singer/guitarist Angelo Tristan and with Jack Bentley-Smith on bass guitar. The COLLATERAL lineup now includes Todd Winger (guitar, previously with classic rock trio Talisman) and Ben Atkinson (drums, from melodic-tech metal outfit Subversion.)
We had an early listen:
The sizzling, bass-tangled, opening track is hard around the edges but soft in the center. MR. BIG SHOT brings wagon-loads of spritz and a large dose of empowerment. It is a song about the many falsehoods found within the music industry.
The hook is, essentially, a half-shouted “Ha!” (which we love) but the guitar embroidery is also irresistible. Any criticism? Yes, this song needs more cow bell…
PROMISELAND has an aggressive riff, convincing drums and a stubborn attitude. The lyric furnishes the fabrications and falsehoods of the biz while also providing tenacity via some exemplary rock ‘n’ roll.
The first of the inevitable “Bon Jovis” on the record — MERRY GO ROUND is a classy and conventional motorcycle boogie with some tasty hooks that will earn repeated listening.
LULLABY is about dreams yet to be realized. Although it begins with blunt explosive blows, pungent rhythms, puncturing riffs and calloused street-punk bass-notes — the melody, when it arrives, is measured and articulate. This is an ultra-propulsive and singable number.
MIDNIGHT QUEEN (also found on their previously released “4 Shots!” E.P.) radiates the kind of confidence you’d expect from an immortal band like Extreme or Van Halen… in other words a band that has been around long enough to earn their rock-god spurs. It’s hard to imagine this band are still rock ‘n’ roll pups! The song maintains a subtle and enigmatic sadness within the lyric and introduces us to their luminary heroine, the ‘Midnight Queen’ (Ocean Navarro) who, according to the evidence of this rocker, is a shy and unpretentious woman with a dark and subtle side.
The sweet, repent-filled ballad GET BACK TO YOU rationalizes the time you spend on the road away from those you love. Although written for a traveling musician, it could also be the anthem of any adventurer, pilgrim, peacemaker or merchant. The guitar-work is impeccable and, although it is interdependent, it is supportive and confirmatory; while the main voice is very well controlled and does not wander into schmaltz or bombast. The result is a song of great virtuosity that will remind you of Aerosmith, circa 1993.
The docile closing number “ABOUT THIS BOY” — with clinking piano — is semi-autobiographical in nature. The voice is calm and refreshing (kinda “radio two” material, to be honest) and so it lacks the vigorous, cocksure thrust of the other numbers on this album. Mind you, it’s touching without being cheesy, so we’re sure it will be celebrated by the army of chick-and-damsel fans who are going to love this band.
On this powerful release, you’ll find gentler Americana and country-style numbers will rub elbows with stockier, flouncier, and more glitter-filled tracks. So, if you’re looking for a heady mix of hard rock, blues & country rock, and the occasional metal edge (that needn’t bother you) — you’ll enjoy this splendid foray into a Bon Jovi-esque wonderland that’s power-posse led by one of the best yellers in the business. Yeah, we’re happy to announce: this is the first truly gumptious album of 2020.
Pre-order it NOW (Audio CD, Streaming, MP3 or vinyl)
For fans of: early Counting Crows or the glam side of Skid Row
Main picture: Collateral Photo Credit Rob Nankivell
Words: @neilmach 2020 ©