Andy Collins is the former bass guitarist and singer/songwriter of Swansea based outfit The Storys.

The Storys were a 70’s West coast influenced band, whose distinctive Americana-style and harmony-laden songs earned them support shows for such luminaries as Joe Cocker, Sir Elton, Katie Melua, Daniel Lanoi and Van Morrison.

However, and as is often the case, despite all the success the band disbanded in 2010 – with individual band members deciding to go their own creative way.

Enter Closure, the debut album by Andy Collins. Joined by his fellow ex-band mates Rob Thompson (vox, guitar) and Alan Thomas (keys, mandolin, banjo), Closure contains ten well-crafted songs ranging from rock-ballad styles (‘Believe’, ‘All The Things You Dream Of’) to classic power rock ‘Find Your Own Way Back’.

‘You Say Nothing’ is a beautiful love song full of vocal harmony and stripped of unnecessary instrumental overload, while ‘Over Again’ is yet another example of how strong a song can be even if the ingredients are kept simple.

The excellent ‘Two Horse Race’ is Tom Petty influenced (is there any Americana-style music that isn’t?). Fantastic arrangements and great lyrics – what more can you want from a track?

“Your eyes betray the words your lips are saying,
Leaving my head in a spin.
I’d call you on your actions if I thought it’d help,
But where would I begin.
And I can see… the way you look at me…
Is plain as the nose on your face.
That I’m the only mule… in this two horse race.”

Harmonica play on ‘Something New’ reminds a little of the soundtrack to ‘Midnight Cowboy’ – thoughtful lyrics served in a laid-back manner.

The fast-paced alt-country rock number ‘Storytown’ once again has some cool harmonica ringing through, and the truly wicked chorus is interspersed with very cool riffs work. One of the best songs on the album!
Closing track ‘Only One Right’ kicks of in a fragile and gentle manner, only to drift into a fantastic guitar and keyboard solo toward the end of the song.

Andy Collins has done more then well with this his first solo album, and I be damned if an equally impressive follow-up shouldn’t be in the cards.