F.J. DeSanto (Vocals, Bass, Programming)
Michael "The Kidd" Hess (Keyboards, Programming)
Mike "Ash" Venezia (Programming, Guitars, Keyboards)
Thomas Whitfleet (Vocals, Guitars)
Robin Emmet (Drums)
When we last left NYC's most notorious machine rockers, they were at the tail end of a successful series of shows across the Northeast supporting their 1998 CMJ charting remix album, Pure Liquid Ego. A packed, utterly chaotic release party at the Bank in Manhattan featured blistering live versions of new tracks like "Missionary Man," as well as reworked favorites like "Cross," followed by a show at New York's now-legendary Coney Island High. The shows were well received, and critics raved about Ego and the 1997 debut, Whitelineoverride, with Outburn proclaiming they "…definitely look forward to hearing more from this band."
Years earlier, when word broke about the band's attitude-driven industrial anthems and the scathing live shows, they ran off to Chicago to work with such luminaries as Van Christie (Die Warzau), Chris Randall (SMG) and Jason McNinch (Pigface, Lick) at Warzone Recorders, leading to the startling '97 debut album, Whitelineoverride, released on Tinman.
In 1998 the band released the remix EP Pure Liquid Ego, which featured mixes from 16Volt, Crocodile Shop, Android Lust, and many others, including Mission U.K. frontman Wayne Hussey. Ego also contained four new songs - the product of a collaboration with legendary producer George Hagegorge (Urania and Under The Noise). Outburn called the album, "hard, heavy, and aggressive," and said, "This New York industrial rock band has a crossover sound that is headed in the right direction."
Despite the band's growing success, bust-ups, rows, M.I.A. members, and other assorted melodramas threatened to split The Aggression in half. Guitarist Mark Mohtashemi exiled himself to Los Angeles, while keyboardist Michael Hess found himself in trouble with the law in Boston, leaving original members F.J. DeSanto and Tom Whitfleet to appease both listeners and critics, while struggling to satisfy their greatest fans: themselves.
With the return of both estranged programmer/co-producer Mike "Ash" Venezia and keyboardist/co-writer Michael "The Kidd" Hess, DeSanto and Whitfleet decided to confront the myth of The Aggression head on by doing what the band has always been known for: great songwriting.
Having felt they had "perfected the formula," The Aggression moved away from what The Industrial Bible called "the destructive coldwave turmoil" of Whiteline and Ego and focused more on the sonic and melodic highs of the developing songs. Suddenly, an epic of Euclidian porportions began to emerge: the sophomore release on Tinman, Flood.
Larger in scope than their previous efforts, The Aggression branch out into fresh territory with a newfound depth and maturity. The presence of electronics plays yin to the yang of the pop structures, while DeSanto and Whitfleet's vocals retain the passion and pathos of albums past. With Flood, The Aggression have effectively washed away listeners' preconceptions and started anew.
With the recent addition of Robin Emmet on live drums (as the very first Aggression drummer, no less), Flood has taken on a new dimension as the band prepares to retake the stage. Dancefloor ragers like "Deviations" now resonate with the thud of a live kick drum, while epics like "The Motive" explode off the stage with unbridled fury. The Aggression of 2002 have a grip on melody, structure, and subtlety worthy of pop veterans. But when it comes to raw power, this band certainly hasn't forgotten its namesake.