Monday, November 23, 2009

All or Nothing HC

I've been home sick all weekend and I've been spending time listening to the band All or Nothing H.C.  So I'm going to feature some of their stuff here over the next month or so.  All or Nothing H.C. is a hardcore punk band from Southern California that I only recently discovered, but they make me feel nostalgic.  They remind me of the days when there was actually a viable punk scene in Boston. It seems like the type of band I would've danced around to at the Brighton Elks Lodge a decade ago. And Renae Bryant is the kind of girl I wish didn't live in California. I want her to be in Boston, because I know we'd be BFF's.  She's the kinda girl that teaches during the day and by night runs her own label, makes zines and tours with her band.  I can just picture us going to shows and having sleepovers where we stay up all night making zines, listening to records and discussing feminism.

I am always interested in combining the arts and activism, and so what I like most about this band is the socially conscious messages in every song. Their newest album, California Bleeding, includes lyrics to every song, some of which even include a little explanation from Renae.

There is an underlying theme of rebellion against the image-obsessed, superficial plastic people, like in the title track California Bleeding Renae screams "celebrity obsessed, surgery possessed, whored out success, California is bleeding."  She also addresses these issues in Number 12 and in Hunger for Justice, "For the price of your Louis Vuitton, you could have fed a village in Sudan."  I guess if I lived in California, I would be rebelling against this shit too.  Luckily for me, we're a little less vain in Boston.

Other songs on the album address the environment, going to war and Christian's proselytizing.  My favorite tracks are All or Nothing, Solidarity Now and The F WordAll or Nothing has a great verse: "talk about human rights, it's all or nothing for me, talk about peace, it's all or nothing for me, talk about women's rights, it's all or nothing for me, talk about animal rights, it's all or nothing for me."  Normally, I don't think things are so binary, but when it comes to these issues, it's all or nothing for me too Renae!  Solidarity Now addresses violence against women and reproductive rights. And The F Word reminds me of a spoken word piece I wrote a few years ago about feminism, and I love the "stand together in sisterhood" chant.

And to top it off, Renae cites Joseph Campbell, the Dalai Lama, Noam Chomsky and The Twilight Zone in the linear notes.  An educated, socially conscious band. What's not to love?  Here is a documentary someone did on Renae about women in the punk/hardcore scene.


1 comment:

  1. I love her so much, and also Naked Aggression in the same style.