The best way to describe Collateral is by simply letting them do it themselves. From their website, they say, “Ripped jeans, cowboy boots, long hair and make-up. Collateral are a band that look and sound like a stadium rock band”. After listening to their new self-titled album on Roulette Records, I agree. Collateral are not your long hair, makeup-wearing glam rockers you would normally expect me to talk about. The style is very unique and almost has a Hard Rock/Southern Rock blend. I know that has been done before, but Collateral seem to have their own niche and style.
Like every other band, these guys had to overcome many obstacles to get to this point. When the band started they were known as the Angelo Tristan Band. With Angelo Tristan (Vocals), and Jack Bentley Smith (Bass) forming the seed that would grow into what we have now. In 2018 band members Todd Winger (Guitar) and Ben Atkinson (Drums) were added to the mix and the result was the 2018 single “Midnight Queen”.
On February 21st, 2020 their album drops into our hands. After listening to their 2018 EP simple called 4 Shots you know that Collateral have the stuff to hit the ground running. With the single “Midnight Queen” making its appearance on it, and the new album, fans will have something to recognize. In 2019 the band released another single, “Mr. Big Shot” to help promote the new album. All I can say is that I know that fans of Hard Rock will have a rocking time checking it out!
Collateral The Album
As I mentioned before, the album kicks off with the new single “Mr. Big Shot”. The song rocks and has a vibe that will have your fist in the air pumping along with the beat because that’s what this track makes you do without any hesitation. Next up is “Promise Land”. A tune that rocks along, and almost has a Nickelback feel to it. The beats are perfect, and the chorus will have you singing along before the song is over.
“Merry Go Round” is a great tune with a Southern Rock feel from the take-off. The sing-along chorus is fun and sure to get a live crowd involved with the show. The guitar solo in the middle of the song, and the pounding percussions are guaranteed to win you over on this track.
Midway into the album (well kind of midway with having 9 tracks) is “In it for Love”. A track with a prominent bass line, and some fantastic vocals, and background vocals. The most interesting thing about this track is how the timing changes around the middle, then goes into a finger blistering guitar solo that seriously rocks out. Simply put, this is a killer track, and probably one of my favourites on the album.
Sweet Lullaby…Or Is it?
“Lullaby” isn’t that ballad that most would expect for the track name. It’s an edgy track with a driving bass and drum beat that leads the charge and takes the song into a whole new level. Again, there is a fantastic guitar tone and solo here, and the backing vocals add another level here.
The next tune is probably the one that takes a bit of a more southern country-rock feel to it. It could very easily be what could be called a “Cross-over” type tune. Also, it’s the band’s song that they had previously released on their E.P. and also as a single. However, the great musicianship showcased here with the breakdowns, and solos prove that “Midnight Queen” is still a great tune, and clearly showcases the range that Collateral can reach.
Time to Get Back
“Get Back to You” begins with a guitar lick that has an ethereal vibe, and then the acoustic comes in. A slower-paced track sung with heart, and emotion. Yes, the ballad has reared itself up, but it is for sure a track meant to be played on the radio airwaves. Getting back into the more rocking side of the Collateral sound is “Won’t Stop Me Dreamin”. Simple, and straight forward tune. Again, the formula that seems to work is the guitar solo and breakdown just after the midpoint of the song, and it just works.
One thing I’m happy about here is that they didn’t end the album with a ballad, like so many albums lately have seemed to do. However, “About This Boy” is probably the second track with that “Cross-over” sound to it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like all kinds of music, and many different genres, but like a ballad, I feel the last track should make you wanna hit that repeat button and re-listen to the whole album. I am thinking that a harder rocking track might have fit just a little better here.
As much as I enjoyed this album, I feel that maybe the track sequencing might have been looked at a little harder here. Having said that, I also feel that Collateral definitely does have the talent to grab a hold of the reins and ride the proverbial horse to a whole new level of fandom. With this being their first full-length album, maybe they are still trying to discover their sound completely, and their direction. You can check them out this spring out on tour in Europe with Headliners Skid Row, and some U.K. Tour dates in May with H.E.A.T.
Rock On! Keep Rock & Roll Alive!
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Trevor “Psychoone” McDougall
Email Me at: Trevor “Psychoone” McD
- Mr. Big Shot
- Merry Go Round
- In It For Love
- Midnight Queen
- Get Back To You
- Won’t Stop Me Dreaming
- About This Boy
- Angelo Tristan (Lead vocals \ guitar)
- Todd Winger (Lead guitar)
- Jack Bentley-Smith (Bass)
- Ben Atkinson (Drums)