The result is a pretty slick sounding record. With nary a rough edge or sharp corner to be heard, it's almost as polished as a hard rock record can get. It doesn't get much more finely-honed than "The Pulse".
You'll find yourself tapping your toes to the high-energy "Gates Of Hell". The pumping "Little Curse (Shit Happens)" careens headlong in the album's most out-of-control moment. The opener "Liar Liar" is a glammed-up Riot Grrl ditty.
So much of Hunter Valentine is predicated on attitude. Thankfully, that hasn't been produced out of these songs. Cuts like "Nowhere To Run" and "Ted's Collision" convey a sense of defiance that fits beautifully with the band's image.
Sometimes the power you expect just doesn't materialize. "Lonely Crusade" is a particularly weak, self-conscious number. The multi-voiced "Crying" seems more worthy of former folkies like Tegan & Sara than it does a punk-inspired act.
Lyrics are not the strong suit for Hunter Valentine either. Songs like "This Bull Rides Tonight" are unimaginative and superficial.
Hunter Valentine has a lot to work with. However, one can't help but wish they had put as much effort into the substance of their music as they did with their style.
Best tracks: "Priscilla", "Liar Liar"
Track listing for Collide & Conquer:
- Liar Liar
- Lonely Crusade
- The Pulse
- Little Curse (Shit Happens)
- Nowhere To Run
- This Bull Rides Tonight
- Gates of Hell
- Ted's Collision
- The Great Canadian Love Song