Alex Blaze

Queer music Friday - Hunter Valentine

Filed By Alex Blaze | July 16, 2010 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment

Hunter Valentine, the Canadian lesbian punk trio, sent me a copy of their new album "Lessons From the Late Night." This is "The Stalker." Review's after the jump.

It's a short album reminiscent of Blink 182, or at least Kiyomi McCloskey, the lead vocalist, spits the lyrics in a way that takes me back to the late-90's listening to "What's my Name Again" on the radio. She certainly a capable rock singer, but do I detect hints of sarcasm at times? Or is that just the Californicated style coming through? Imagine Gwen Stefani circa Tragic Kingdom except slightly more soulful and lower-pitched, and that's McCloskey's vocals.

Hunter-Valentine shies away from the electronica queer punk generally likes, sticking to a standard rock formation (electric guitar, bass guitar, drum kit, some keyboards) along with the occasional random percussion (tambourine in "Scarface" and glock in "She Only Loves Me When She's Wasted," for example). The lead guitar is always rhythmic (chugga-chugga-chugga-chug), usually fast, so the real interest lies in the interplay of the vocals and the bass guitar.

One of the noteable tracks is "The Stalker" in the video before the jump. The primitive vocal arrangements and guitar harmony make it stand out from the rest of the album. "She Only Loves Me When She's Wasted" is has a sweet sound and the lack of banging out power chords in the verses gives it a more vulnerable sound that's a good break from the rest of the album.

Hunter-Valentine has a great sound, but their song-writing isn't memorable. Their energy and technical skill might be enough to overcome the blandness of the songs themselves in a live performance, but as an album you really have to love hard rock to have much interest in "Lessons From the Night."

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Thanks for this nuanced review, Alex.

It's great to read a queer review that isn't just the usual, "OMG, this is so great, you have to buy it! I want the band members to be my friends!" that's also no more than thinly-disguised marketing spiel.