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Collateral – Should've Known Better

(Big Shot / Cargo Records - 2024)

(Style: Rock)

Collateral have come a long way since their debut album ‘Rewired’.  They have cut out a lot of fat, having trimmed down from a quintet to a quartet for this, their second album.

Having recently been impressed by their support slot with FM, I am looking forward to reviewing this. ‘Glass Sky’ kicks us off in punchy anthemic fashion, it has a Euro pop chorus that grabs you by the balls and hooks you in. It begins the album just like it began the recent tour, great solo from Louis Malagodi and Angelo Tristan has an instant insistency to his voice.

The next song that catches my ear is ‘Just One Of Those Days’ it is a countrified sojourn that utilises a bit of everything from the genre in search of crossover appeal. ‘Teenage Dream’ begins acoustically and again wears the influences on its sleeve. Good solo again as the song develops with pounding bass and drums.

‘On The Long Road’ really shows the strength of Tristan’s vocals, it was a highlight of recent shows and is a torch waving ballad which again sees some fluid, subtle sounds from the fingers of Malagodi. A bit of power and punch introduces ‘No Place For Love’ before the song falls into mid-tempo territory, fitting somewhere between AOR and the songs of the likes of Desmond Child.

Up next attempts to be a ‘Game Changer’, it has raunch and crunch as it tries to ignite some fire, heavy bass lines help propel it forward, but I think it sounds a bit forced. The album closer is ‘Final Stand’ which is a thudding and bruising finale.

This Kent based group are heading in the right direction, with catchy chorus infused songs, these songs need a bit more craft and originality if they are going to garner mass acclaim.

The nine songs on offer show promise though I feel another track would have helped as it seems a bit short. The album is well produced, clear and concise, but overall, I think there is a lack of identity, too many songs come across as pastiches of their influences.

In a live setting Collateral have the image and they are heading in the right direction: Album number three could easily really see lift off!

By Paul Mace

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