Hunter Valentine’s second full length studio release, Collide & Conquer, is a solid follow-up to the band’s 2007 debut record, Impatient Romantic. What the band started on that record, it has built up even more with this new release. That is evident right from the album’s opener, ‘Liar Liar.’ This is an interesting opener as singer/guitarist Kyomi M’s vocals come across as a mix of so many past great female rock vocalists. The song’s driving guitars and drums serve to enhance the song even more making it a very good first impression for this record. Whereas ‘Liar Liar’ is a solid opener for this new record, equally interesting is the ease with which the band is able to change moods and sounds with the album’s very next song, ‘Lonely Crusade.’ While this song has a noticeably different vibe about it all the way around, it’s still a nice follow-up as it doesn’t lose any of the energy built up from ‘Liar Liar.’
As much as Hunter Valentine offers listeners some nice up-tempo punk rock pieces on its new album, it has also offered fans the more poppy sound from its debut record in the new song, ‘Crying.’ What really makes this song interesting is that considering the song’s chorus of “I feel like crying tonight”, and the gentle tones from the piano backing the song, the band still hasn’t lost any of the energy built through the album’s first three songs. It makes for an interesting juxtaposition of emotions and sounds. Even more interesting is the transition of the band from this song to the album’s halfway point with the song, ‘Little Curse (S*** Happens).’ This song kicks the album’s energy right back to ten, even with its lyrical side that seems to touch yet again on personal relationships.
The first half of Hunter Valentine’s new album, Collide & Conquer is a solid new effort from these young Canadian rockers. And even for those who might be new to the band’s music, it makes for just as much of an impressive introduction. The band does a good job of balancing its mix of punk, pop punk and rock throughout the course of the album’s eleven songs. Considering this, it would be no surprise if this band’s name makes its way across mainstream radio stations nationwide given the opportunity. The band already has a number of performances slated for the New Year in support of its new album. It will be touring up and down the West Coast and into the Midwest during the early part of 2013. Audiences who want to check the band out live can see the band’s tour dates online at http://www.facebook.com/huntervalentine and http://www.huntervalentine.com. Fans can also go to both sites to get all the latest news from the band.
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