ALL OR NOTHING HC: Search for the Strength: CD

Even if I didn’t know this was Renae Bryant’s band, I would’ve recognized her vocals instantly. Renae is an MRR columnist and she also used to be the singer in an little-known band called He’s Dead Jim. As far as I know, He’s Dead Jim only put out one seven-inch and had a few songs on a few obscure comps, but they were a really cool band, snotty and dripping with attitude and funny (though sometimes funny despite themselves). A friend of mine taped the seven inch for me, but I lost the cassette a long time ago. I miss that cassette. I was excited to see that she’s fronting a this new band. All or Nothing HC is definitely a departure for Renae musically. Her vocals are still dripping with attitude, but the snottiness has been replaced by a new toughness, and the band behind her traded in their melodies for a faster, meaner sound. This sounds more like a female-fronted Sick of it All. The songs are tight and the musicianship is solid. I think Renae’s become a better singer over the years, too. I’m kinda torn about this album. Part of me misses the old He’s Dead Jim sound; part of me is just happy to have this new album to listen to.

 –sean (On the Rag)