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Collateral – Collateral review

Release date: 21 February 2020

Label: Roulette Media

Genre: Hard Rock

Track Listing
Mr. Big Shot
Promiseland
Merry Go Round
In It For Love
Lullaby
Midnight Queen
Get Back To You
Won’t Stop Me Dreaming
About This Boy

Band Members: 

Angelo Tristan (Lead vocals \ guitar)

Todd Winger (Lead guitar)

Jack Bentley-Smith (Bass)

Ben Atkinson (Drums)

Ramsgate, the California of England, is the breeding ground for the next generation of hard rock, nay, stadium rock stars and first out of the gate and arriving (but thankfully not going down) in a blaze of glory [yes, the less than subtle references begin here!] are Collateral.

Ripped jeans, cowboy boots, long hair and make-up, Collateral will one day ride into town on steel horses, looking every inch the outlaw rockers that lead singer Angelo Tristan clearly wants them to be. For now, starting out with just a single and an e.p under their belts, the steel horses are pedal powered and the band travel round the country to gigs in an old, red Post Office van that is more Bad News than Bad Company. What it does prove however is that this is a band doing things properly, working for a living, living on a prayer, building up the fan-base and rewarding those of us that keep the faith that music like this will one again reign supreme in the charts.

From seeing the band first perform live supporting classic 80s rockers Q5, it was clear that Collateral are destined for something rather special.  Their breakout single, Midnight Queen gave us a taste of the runaway success that the four piece is likely to achieve over the next few years. Regular airplay on Planet Rock, a must have if you’re going to succeed these days, guaranteed a few raised eyebrows and a greater interest being taken in the band and before we knew it, some seriously impressive support slots saw them becoming one of the hottest new acts in the UK, a temperature that can probably be measured at 7800 degrees Fahrenheit!

A 4 track e.p. ‘4 Shots’ followed proving that if you stick to your guns, then the anthems will flow.

The tease for the new album then came in the first of the 9 tracks that we find on the eponymous debut, Mr Big Shot. Containing more than just a little bit of soul, you could probably blame it on the love of rock and roll that the band clearly have for this type of anthemic statement. If ever a song summed up Collateral’s intent, it’s this one!

Of course, we’ve still got a further 8 tracks to go… only 8 and yes we’ll address that at the end of the review, these days, a storming lead single needs a strong follow up on the album, something to believe in, if you will. Thankfully, ‘Promiseland’ is an absolute belter and currently ticks my box for the best track on the album. It presents a heavier sound for the band, utilises Angelo’s vocal range perfectly and has riffs to die for courtesy of Todd Winger. It’s a single digit extension to the popular music press that says this type of music is dead and sees the band simply stating “It’s My Life and It’s Now or Never” and fair play to them for doing so. The music comes across like a breath of fresh air and gives us something to bounce along to and who doesn’t want that?

Throughout the harder tracks and thankfully there are many, Ben Atkinson’s drumming and Jack Bentley Smith’s thunderous bass work do more than compliment every song, they define them. Many bands rely too heavily on the lead singer and the lead guitarist but thankfully Collateral are 4 quality musicians who each bring 25% of the whole to the table. Long may that continue!

The ballads are there as well. Get Back to You and About This Boy will regenerate the cigarette lighter sales almost single-handedly as people wave them about in the air and grown men cry into their beers at memories induced by the excellent and heartfelt lyrics.

The four piece is complimented by some keyboard work and it’s that that truly gives it the Bon Jovi flair that seemingly the man himself is unable to do anymore. Thankfully bands like Collateral, H.E.A.T and Vega are helping keep that particular hard rock flag flying even if they are almost the last man standing.

The gripes… 9 tracks does not make an album. I want 10, not 9, 10. At just 35 minutes, like a premature ejaculators support group meeting, it’s over before it began. An extra track and 40 minutes plus of music could have easily pushed this to full marks but as it stands, it still ranks as one of my top bets for 2020.

Ultimately, it still hits you like a shot through the heart, it lingers in the brain and makes you raise your hands every time you listen to it. What more can I say… Have A Nice Day !

Rating: 9/10

Reviewer: Adrian Hextall

 

 

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