When I put the four tracks that make up “4 Shots” onto my iPod so I could review it, whoever had classified the songs had kinda done my job for me.

The genre read as “Stadium Rock”.

And make no mistake about it, that is the aim of the four piece.

Looking at the guys in the band, it does seem like they are a throwback. And the 20 minutes of music that they’ve got under their belt does little to disavow that theory.

To be fair, given the band name and the EP title, you could be forgiven for thinking this was a sleazy reincarnation of Skid Row. You’d be wrong, though.

Collateral, it seems, their eyes set on another band from New Jersey. You can search around for as many references as you like, and you’ll keep coming back to just one name: Bon Jovi.

The first single “Midnight Queen” has the sort of chorus JBJ and Richie Sambora (and don’t tell me that any version of Jovi without Sambora in is actually Jovi) used to knock out for fun. There is more than a hint of “Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night” about this.

Collateral formed a while ago. Singer Angelo and bassist Jack have – you suspect – always known what they wanted. And in guitarist Todd Winger and drummer Ben Atkinson they’ve found it.

There’s a swagger – and crikey there’s a bass groove – about this from the opening bars of “Going With The Wind”. A touch of the Little Angels too, and its opening line: “you might not know who I am, I ain’t no disco queen” almost dares you to doubt them.

Clearly, they’re going to get lumped in with the current wave of hard rockers, but there isn’t any obvious rivals in terms of sound in the new breed. Maybe Inglorious, but even they aren’t quite as overtly arena rock as this.

“Angels Crying” – and the slide guitar opener from Winger is pure Joe Perry – is even a modern attempt at the power ballad, and they are totally unashamed too.

Best of the lot, though is the last one. There’s a moment in “Just Waiting For You” when the solo soars, and you are 12 years old again, looking for a girl called Dawn at the school disco (ok, that is just me). The point is that it’ll be instantly familiar to those who were around, and those who are fresh at it will have never heard anything quite this polished from a new band.

Four songs. So you can’t – or shouldn’t – say anything to burden a young band. There is something about Collateral, though, that suggests they aren’t going to be denied and that these are just the opening shots in what will be a salvo to watch. That Wembley booking? Just maybe.

Rating 8/10

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