Agression (1979-present): a Punk band from Silver Strand Beach, Oxnard, California, USA.
ardcore punk act Agression is an American band from Silver Strand Beach, Oxnard, California, United States. Agression was one of the first bands of the "Nardcore" scene and an early example of the "skate punk" style. The band fused skate culture with the punk scene with the song about skateboarding called Intense Energy and a Glen E. Friedman photo of Arthur Lake skating a pool on their first and most popular album, Don't Be Mistaken (1983). The band is also known for its fast-paced, aggressive songs like Slammin' at the Club, Money Machine, Dear John Letter, Never Alone, Go to War, and Locals Only.
The band was formed in 1979 by Mark Hickey (vocals), Henry Knowles (guitar) and Bob Clark (bass), who were all skateboarders for Sims. However, the band did not really get going until 1981, when they became part of the first wave of skate punk bands to emerge from southern California. After the aforementioned debut, contributions to various 'Mystic Records' compilations followed, with Agression's sound wavering between skate punk and more generic heavy metal; a self-titled LP on that label appeared in 1985, as did the "official" bootleg of an Agression show at the New York club CBGB.
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Agression was able to get as far as CBGB with the aid of their manager, Scott Hatch, who also managed the more established hardcore outfit Fear, among a stable of many hardcore punk rock bands, Killer Pussy, TSOL and Rik L Rik.
Agression relocated from Oxnard, California to a more central location in Denver, Colorado as its home base in the late 1980s. Knowles left the band after a few years in Colorado, returning to California. A short while after, Clark also left putting the band on hiatus until replacement members were found.
The remaining members of Hickey and Mike Minnick (aka Fluffy Machete, who joined in 1986 and was well known in the So-Cal punk scene as the former drummer of two seminal Nardcore bands, Ill Repute and Habeas Corpus) needed to fill the vacuum left by the loss of Knowles, so in 1992 Hickey permanently added his friend and locally well known guitar player Kent Taylor, and went through several fill-in bassists including "Jelly Roll" (real name unknown), and Conrad Sear, before finally settling on Adam Pittman (aka Commander Adama). Sear was temporarily retained for a short period as a rhythm guitarist, and left the band soon after. With the new Colorado lineup, Agression began touring again, and recorded the albums, Nowhere to Run and Live at the Lair, a live album recorded in the infamous Denver punk club, the "Lion's Lair".
Hickey's version of Agression fizzled out and disbanded in 1998.
The distinctive "bar-s" logo the band used since 1981, designed by artist Jamie Hernandez (illustrator of the comic Love and Rockets) resembling a black bar with a single lightning-bolt style 'S', or more accurately, the 'Sig', or 'Sowilo' Germanic rune meaning "sun", or "victory" offset to the left of the bar, was misunderstood by many of the younger members of the punk scene. The logo was mistaken for a Nazi "SS" symbol, and rumors circulated that the band were racists, Nazis or white supremacists. This was compounded by Hickey's self-identification as a "traditional skinhead".
In early 2000, the band reformed in San Jose, California, with Knowles, Rob Thacker (guitar), Ryan Fassler and Drew Klein. This line-up continued through many shows with bands like Dead Kennedys, DI, Jim Jones Brigade and Pitch Black. This incarnation of the band continued until the summer of 2001. In late 2001, Knowles contacted original drummer Mark Aber/Rooney about playing together again with Big Bob on bass but Henry became ill.
The new millennium brought about the deaths of two of its founding members; Hickey in 2000, due to acute liver failure, and Knowles to leukemia in 2002.
In mid-2002, a "Henry Knowles Memorial Show" took place at Skatelab, in Simi Valley, California, featuring the Nardcore All-Stars (who did an all-Agression song set list), Rejected Society, The Missing 23rd, Dr. Know and Ill Repute, among others.
The albums Full Circle (2003) and Locals Only: Live (2005) followed.
On January 20, 2013, a man was shot and killed and another man was stabbed when a fight at an Agression concert spilled into the parking lot in Torrance, California.
Dr. Strange records has released a tribute to Agression titled Taking Out A Little Agression featuring many of their contemporaries along with modern bands covering Agression songs.
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Dashboard for Agression