Ted Poley is the definition of a rock warrior. He’s been around for years and years. He’s had some hits, but never really broke through in any big way. Most people from the 80s generally remember a Danger Danger song or two, but rarely when people talk about their favorite bands from that era is that band mentioned. Being completely honest I don’t even own a Danger Danger release. It’s not that I didn’t like songs like “Naughty Naughty” or “Bang Bang”. It’s more a numbers thing – there were just a lot of other options going on in 1989. After listening to Ted Poley’s latest release, Collateral Damage, I can’t help but think that maybe I missed something.
Simply put, Collateral Damage is a throwback record. This music would have been huge sitting next to Warrant’s Cherry Pie and Poison’s Flesh & Blood releases. This is simple, effective verse-chorus-verse-chorus rock and roll. It features solid musicianship, excellent production, and the effectively alluring voice of Ted Poley. He’s an effective hair-metal styled crooner who uses a touch of edge on his otherwise soulful voice to grab the listener in as hard as any hook in any song. He shines on songs like the soft “Curtain Call”, while featuring a bit of grit on songs like “Yeah, U Want It” (a very Danger Danger-like tune) and the mid-tempo rocker “Endgame”. From start to finish, Poley delivers the goods.
Interestingly though, this really isn’t as much of a “solo” project as you would think. Even though this is monikered as “Ted Poley”, it should more appropriately be called “Poley/Rivera”. Vic Rivera, known for his work with Adriangale, does everything on Collateral Damage. Playing guitar, bass, drums and co-writing many of the songs on the album, Rivera puts his stamp all over this release. It shows too. The aforementioned “Endgame” sounds very much like something off of Adriangale’s Crunch release, and “Hero Falling” hints toward Rivera’s past band as well. He won’t get the credit he deserves for this release, but Vic Rivera is a major part of this release.
RATING – 8/10 – Very solid first ever offering under the “Ted Poley” name. The ex-Danger Danger vocalist has found the right writing and performing partner in ex-Adriangale mastermind Vic Rivera. This duo has created something really solid, and something I’d like to hear more from. If you liked that late 80s sound, but with a bit more punch and a bit less silliness, you will love the new Ted Poley release.