I realise that I say, with some regularity, how much I have loved the latest release by various bands, that it is the best thing I’ve heard in ages – you know the score. I can guarantee you lovely people that every word is meant as we really do work on this being a BS free area at Rock-Zone UK Towers. With that in mind, I am here to put on record that the “4 Shots!” EP from Collateral is the best debut release in my eyes (should that be ears) since, well perhaps since I first heard Little Angels back in the late 80s. The four songs on offer from the boys from Kent (Angelo Tristan on vocals, Ben Atkinson on drums, Jack Bentley-Smith on bass and Todd Winger on guitar) truly reflect a stadium rock sound that, although harking back to some of the great from a few years ago (comparisons with BonJovi, Tyketto, Skid Row and, my beloved, Little Angels have been made),never sounds dated or like a band trying to be anything other than true to themselves. It is so good I have had the four songs on pretty much constant rotation for the last week and you fine folks need to get a copy urgently (it’s released on Friday 23rd November via Roulette Records). Without any shadow of a doubt, Collateral deserve to be at the forefront of that latest bunch of the New Wave of Classic Rock.
This year they played Hard Rock Hell’s red carpet, Awards ceremony and the reaction was mind-blowing. What sets Collateral apart from the rest of the new bands is their combination of electric and acoustic guitar set against a big drum sound and throbbing bass guitar. They are loud, rockin’ and melodic. You can’t take your eyes off them.
Of course, the E.P. features the band’s new single ‘Midnight Queen’ plus three other tracks. As a music addict for many years, I was always desperate to get hold of all the songs by my favourite bands so loved it when a single had not just a B side but extra tracks. Now, I am not going to try and convince anyone that these were always as good as the chosen A side (they weren’t) but it gave the addict in me the full range of material. This EP has no such completist fillers. Every single track here could stand alone as a single. Each as strong as the next and providing musical delight at every turn.
I think the best point i can make about the strength of the material is that “Angels Crying” could well be my song of the year – can’t remember the last time I had an ear-worm song but this one was running through my head each morning this week. Closing the release is “Just Waiting For You” which makes the guitarist in me smile the most,as Todd manages to create a solo that just takes me back to some of the best solos that my 80s guitar hero, Richie Sambora, has ever produced. Not a copy of The King of Swing’s style, rather hints and runs that just take me back to thinking about Mr S. It is a blistering solo that just takes what could be classified as a ballad way beyond the archetype.
The EP launch show is on the 24th November at Leo’s Red Lion in Gravesend (details below,including another two recently announced shows) and I am gutted that I cannot make it. Yes, I am so impressed I would have done the 600 mile road trip to be there if I could. So if you are anywhere near, get your tickets bought and do it. Collateral are my newest favourite band, and I reckon they could just become yours too.
The 4 Shots! E.P. was recorded and mixed by Sean Kenny at Ten 21 Studios and mastered by Grammy nominee Robin Shmittz of 24-96 mastering in Germany.
2018/2019 UK TOUR DATES
Leos Red Lion, Gravesend
Saturday 24th November 2018
The Troubadour Earl’s Court, London
Thursday 29th November 2018
Leo’s Red Lion, Gravesend
Friday 26th April 2019
Find out more about Collateral online here, and tell the boys that Rock-Zone UK sent you: