Toe-curling choruses, some at-times terrible lyrics and plenty of fist-pumping, toe-tapping 'dad rock' momets abound throughout. It feels identikit and bland. There are already so many bands out there doing this and we don;t really need any more.
It's such a shame. The production for the Kent-based outfit is crisp. But it sterilises it. The whole thing feels a bit forced. Like your uncle at the family party who nobody particularly takes seriously and he keeps telling you and the younger members of the family to "KEEP ON ROCKIN'" with a pair of horns pointed at the ceiling and a leather jacket that screams more cowpoke than Hell's Angel.
Take the opening to Merry Go Round. "Woke up today feeling drunk. Lost my job and it's real f***** up." Are we 17 years old again and working weekends at Matalan? "Lord knows that I'd do it all again," they continue. The issue is they do, nine times in total, on an album that never really leaves the middle of the road and tries to push out of the 'safe' fringes of rock.
They try to liven things up with a grungier sound on tracks like Promiseland, but it all still feels a little tongue-in-cheek and glam-rock with those rising vocal harmonies for the chorus. If somebody had told us that Spinal Tap were making a comeback with a new sound for a modern audience then listening to tracks like this one could easily believe that.
They've been receiving a lot of backing, Planet Rock are using them as poster boys a lot, and we've written about their rising star on this site too. So it's a little bit of a surprise that the finished debut feels a little flat like this.
The Bon Jovi-esque Lullaby shows why they were chosen to support the icon on his Runaway to Paradise Mediterranean Cruise last year. And they throw a few lighter ballads in there too, such as Midnight Queen and About This Boy that are far more filler than killer.
This is one that just hasn't lit any fires.
Collateral will be at Bilston's Robin 2 on February 25 supporting Jared James Nichols, then support Phil X & The Drills at Birmingham's O2 Academy 3 on March 12 and then join Vega and Mason Hill in supporting H.E.A.T at Wolverhampton's KK's Steel Mill