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Collateral 'Should've Known Better' album review: The Kent Rockers pull out all the stops for their sophomore album

When Collateral released their debut album in 2020, a certain virus scuppered plans to take it to a wider crowd, but it would take more than a pandemic to stop these New Wave Classic Rock stalwarts. They are back with their second album, 'Should've Known Better, and it's a total blast.

Their first single 'Glass Sky' has a gritter and heavier edge than before. They don't follow this sound throughout the album, which may be a tad grinding to new fans who may hear the lead single and think they are getting a traditional rocky ride, but a relief for long-time followers.

You see, Collateral has always been a band that wears melody on their sleeve and flaunts their influences with pride. Bon Jovi is probably the most obvious one, but from country to rock, the Kent band go around all over the place stylistically, with a heavy focus on the best sound to tell the story.

Dan Waller's The mix of every track draws you into the story and it's impossible not to find yourself singing or grooving along, even on more hoaky tracks like Alice Cooper's Trash Era-inspired 'Original Criminal'. 'Elysium' fuses modern new wave with 80s rock in a perfect package. There's the Huey Lewis riff and the Bryan Adams strutt of the vocals. It's big, bold and enormous fun. The spirit of Mr Adams also pops up on the deliciously catchy 'Just One of Those Days'. When I said that they wear their influences with pride I wasn't joking.

'On the Long Road', is an emotional song inspired by personal loss during lockdown It's a terrific grandstanding ballad suitable for arenas. Thanks to Weller's skilled production it's more boy band than rockstar in terms of tone, but hey a good song is a good song. Not only are Collateral's live shows great fun, they are incredibly good at songwriting, even if they straddle several genres; this just adds to their appeal.

Collateral has worked incredibly hard over the last few years and their debut was a strong one, but they have pulled out all the stops on this album. If any naysayers thought that they would have a troubled second album, they should've known better.


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