Sometimes you get PR companies really pushing a band for some reason. Constant emails, messages, “you’ve got to check this one out” – that kind of thing. And sometimes you give in and go “OK then, seeing as it’s just an EP I’ll try to squeeze it in”. Then after listening you’re left wondering why they’re having to push it when all four tracks do a damn fine job of pushing themselves.
Collateral are billed as “stadium rock” so this is middle-of-the-road, radio-friendly music which isn’t out to offend anyone (unlike, say, the recent Meathook album I reviewed). We’re talking classic Def Leppard, Bon Jovi… that kind of thing. Actually, closer to the latter with the mild country influence that rings through in “Midnight Queen” which has been released as a single / video.
The four songs present on the EP do a good job of demonstrating where Collateral are coming from and how far their rock wings spread. They never quite hit full-on ballad (though “Angels Crying” is damn close and “Waiting For You” is laid back rather than soppy until the final flurry), but we have a great taster of their songwriting and musicianship. Yes, you could claim that it’s cheesy but this is cheese with heritage. The hooks are hooky, the riffs catchy and the brief solos perfectly placed and emotive.
What we have with Collateral, and demonstrated on 4 Shots!, is the classic rock line-up and sound. Four members: twin guitars, bass and drums. Combining rock and melody into tunes that you can dance to, this is a band to watch out for.
4 Shots! is out now