HUNTER VALENTINE

huntervalentineHUNTER VALENTINE – ‘Collide & Conquer’

An album with a name such as this is a very bold promise.  The idea that these three women think they can give us an insatiable ear thrashing to overtake our souls should be commended.  They are aiming high, striving for greatness and alhough their collection isn’t on par with perhaps the almighty “Queens of Noise” The Runaways, Ontario trio Hunter Valentine give it a decent shot.  From the recesses of popular American reality show the Real L-Word, band members Kiyomi M, Laura Petracca and Veronica Sanchez have blasted out in a ballsy musical direction with Collide & Conquer. The most intriguing aspect of this album has to be the incredibly versatile nature of the musical composition.  They made a wise decision in taking inspiration from a variety of different avenues rather than just adopting a formula and bludgeoning it to death.  Case in point – the stark contrast between tracks like ‘Lonely Crusade’ and ‘The Pulse’ – as the slightly symphonic and lighter vocals of Lonely Crusade fade out, the foreboding trudge of The Pulse blasts out, with malignant words from Kiyomi that will provoke vindicated sing-alongs in any live setting.  Other moments of note include the throbbing beat, psychedelic guitar and thriving vocals behind ‘Little Curse’ and the simple pop-punk diversion of ‘Gates of Hell’.  But despite its nobility, at times the pseudo-punk attack doesn’t quite work, with Kiyomi’s brash vocals raw and howling; at times unattached and unsuited to mellower outings like the cringe-worthy ‘Crying’.  Its a cold hard world out there and although you’ve got to give them an A- for effort, something tells us they may need more than a C for effect.  (6)
CHELSEA DEELEY

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