Let’s draw the lines of distinction at the outset: to be called a ‘good pub band’ is a bit of a put-down. To be called a ‘good pub-rock band’ is something quite different. Collaborator, I feel fall into this second category, which when you consider that he genre, back in the day, produced bands such as Nine Below Zero; The Rumour; Ducks Deluxe etc., is more of a compliment.
I’ll bet tickets for their gigs in their home- town of Chelmsford sell fast, and they will pack out the pubs and Town Halls in their area whenever they play. That’s the vibe emanating from this album, ‘Moving On.’ How many people out with their locale are likely to pick up on the band and buy their album is however something else. Good as it is, there is nothing that makes it stand out from the masses, and bringing it to the attention of the wider market will be a problem.
The opening track, ‘ ‘Bring It all To Me’ is a straight- forward guitar based rocker in the classic mould. It bounces along with instrumental references to Oasis and the like. ‘Nothing At All’ follows. This track grows after a few listens. A bit of a slow burner, it is down-tempo rock with melodic and powerful (if at times a little strained) vocals. ‘Mr Jack’ which has been released as a single, has definite undertones of Eighties’ band The Cars. Good though. ‘Bang Bang’ follows the more melancholy ‘Canada’ and despite broaching the thorny attitude to gun-law in The States with some almost contrived rhymes, it does have a memorable, aggressive chorus, complete with sampled speeches. A compliment would be to compare with the likes of early Cocksparrer, but without the accents. Title track ‘Moving On’ brings the tempo down a couple of notches before it all cranks up again with ‘Stronger Now.’
The remaining tracks vary in style, from the rock ‘ n’ roll skiffle sound of ‘The King’ to the harmonica infused bluesy-metal combo of ‘Stranger In The House,’ to the heavier closing track, ‘I.’
All in all, an interesting and pleasing album – I just doubt it will be flying off the shelves of your local HMV.