Reviewed: December 2020
Released: 2020, X-Ray Records
Reviewer: Jack Merry
WHEN FRAMES COLLIDE is a short-lived Melbourne rock band featuring Andy McLean from AUSTRALIAN ROCK ROYALTY on vocals who graced the stages of a number of intimate venues in 2019, playing to loving crowds before disappearing to record, never to be seen or heard of again… until now.
Quattro is the one and only EP from the Aussie rockers WHEN FRAMES COLLIDE and is a short sharp burst of 70’s rock that takes influences from the history of both Australian and British rock n’ roll. Elements of AC/DC and ROSE TATTOO can be heard mixed with the classic rock stylings of bands like THIN LIZZY, CREAM, and LED ZEPPELIN. Within these four incredibly focused songs, there’s a lot to love, and everything that any hard rock fan could possibly want or need is here in one form or another.
The first track “Letting Go” kicks off proceedings with a bombastic guitar riff and a propulsive rhythm section. Immediately, the pristine production makes sure that every instrument can be heard and Andy’s vocals have more than a hint of THE DEAD DAISIES and DEEP PURPLE frontman Glenn Hughes; which is not at all a bad thing, it just made me double-check on more than one occasion that I wasn’t listening to PURPLE’S Burn album.
I was totally expecting “Heroes” to be a cover of the sublime DAVID BOWIE track, so I was surprised and pleased in equal measure to find it’s an original track. Filled to the brim with ethereal piano sections, thumping bass lines, and bluesy hard rock licks, “Heroes” is a beautiful track with a wistful, nostalgic, and bittersweet feeling as Andy sings ”Coz we keep holding on to heroes that disappear, looking for road signs that are never clear’ and the band leads the song to its glorious extended jam climax.
“Mars” is a blues-heavy rocker of a track that details a marriage or relationship falling apart (‘I tried to fix things but my intentions fell short, you never listen, the standard retort’) and Andy laments that ‘On days like these, I might as well be living on Mars.’ Explosive guitar work rages atop a catchy chorus hook that cements the track as the highlight on Quattro.
The final track “It’s Clear” has chiming rhythm guitars and a smooth blues-rock sound, not unlike some early GARY MOORE records, but it goes on just a touch too long for my liking. It’s a good track but it does seem to drag in the second half; some excellent and tasteful blues licks aside. Overall, this is a solid EP from the mysterious band and hopefully, this release will spur them on to release more. I’m always on the lookout for new bands attempting to resurrect the rock sounds of old and this short EP will scratch that itch, at least for now. A promising start.