Collider hails from Washington D.C., which is reflected in the band’s hard-edged ’80s guitar riffs paired with a swagger that wants to pick a fight with the world … or at least the nearest bar patron.
Having come together in 2007, the band made quite an impression on several different clubs in the D.C. area, which lent them time and money to spend the early months of 2008 recording their self-produced debut, Six Story Walk Up. It was then the fearsome five contained their wild, hard earned energy for all to hear.
Collider is an appropriate name for the group, given the music often sounds like it’s clashing against an outside force. It feels like the D.C. rockers are always up against the wall, with a need to claw their way out. Most of this attitude comes through in singer Mona Sahaf’s delivery. At times, she can sound either cheery or sad in an almost typical pop manner. Often, though, it’s more like she’s putting her arms up and challenging you to start something. The best moments come when she moves in between these two vocal styles.
Guitarists Brian Levite and Patrick Woods add to the rhythm of Collider’s tunes, while jumping into a new melody on top of the track. Bassist Tom Lewis and drummer Bryan Pai offer a powerful rhythm section that usually dictates where the track is going.
While the band’s music has its roots in hard rock, they aren’t limited by the labeling. For example, “Cellophane Boy” is the Ramones’ song that never was. It’s straight up old-school punk, but with the modern twist of Sahaf’s lucid and almost understated vocals. A bass and drum break, followed by a high-tuned, smooth guitar solo keeps this track from being trapped in the late ’70s. In other words, the influence is definitely there, but there’s enough of the band’s own personality to make the song work.
“Jannath” is another number that moves in and out of hard rock. It starts off with an unplugged feel, as Sahaf sounds somewhat desperate and vulnerable, while singing, “Until the end, my only friend.” From there, the track speeds up into a low-key, rock number. Sahaf doesn’t let the change in tempo impact her delivery much though. About halfway through, the desperation turns into gutsy confidence and anger as the guitar explodes out of the gate into an aggressive solo.
With the debut album available for purchase on iTunes and gigs falling into place throughout Washington D.C., Collider has already shown enough swagger to take on the band’s hometown. Who knows which city they’ll take on next, but when they do, that city better be ready for a tough fight.