Thursday, May 6, 2010


Agress is a sludge and crust influenced hardcore punk band from Cedar Falls. Forming in the later part of 2008 with Thomas Van Gent on the guitar, Johnathan Dexter on the drums, Nick Patten on the bass, and Jacob Statsny rounding out the group on vocals, this lineup would soon start tearing up shows around Cedar Falls and start to etch the intensity of what you can expect from an Agress show in stone.

Agress takes influence from pacific northwest crust groups like Tragedy and From Ashes Rise, as well as Converge from Boston and the all important Metallica. Cursed from Canada is also a major influence. While not exactly a full fledged crust punk band themselves, you can absolutely hear the crust influence in Agress' music when the drums rip into a dbeat with a downtuned guitar and bass layered on top as Jacob spews out totally low, harsh, and abrasive yells and shouts.

After writing a few songs, Agress took the the time to record a three song demo in October of 2008. These songs were all recorded at Chris Brown's studio Cedar Falls. In December of 2008, this demo was released at local shows.

1. I
2. II
3. III

Click to download.

In March of 2009, Agress parted ways with Nick and Eric Ocheltree stepped up to the plate to fill in on bass duties. With this newly rounded lineup, Agress again stepped into Chris Brown's studio to record in April. This time they emerged with a new seven song demo that was released at the beginning of the Summer.

5. Daywalker
6. Traitor

Click to download.

Some of the more memorable shows for the members of Agress have been the solo Summer tour they did with their brand new 7 song demo, the weekend tour they played with other midwest hardcore bands Nothing to Nothing and Rattletooth. Of course, fellow Cedar Falls hardcore band Take Control's last show was also up on the list of most memorable shows they have played. A most memorable show for me would have to have been the time Agress played at the Haunted Basement in Des Moines and instead of moshing, show attendees practiced power wrestling moves the entire time. May a stone-cold stunner was pulled off that night.

Future plans for Agress include releasing a 7" and then writing for a full length and, of course, tour more. The 7" has been recorded by Nate Buck and Chris Brown, and should be available come June. Make sure to get to a show Agress is playing. They put on an amazing show and the energy is always flowing, whether it's coming from Jacob stomping and flailing around or from the reaction of the crowd itself.

Also, Johnathan lettered in dance team in high school.

Check out Agress' site here.

Thanks to Thomas for all the information.



Unfortunately, Agress has disbanded since I first published their write-up on this blog. They were definitely a sick band and left us with some pretty sick tunes before their demise. Their self titled 7" came out in October of 2010. I remember I was driving to Minneapolis with These Needles to either play a show or record or something the day of the record release show for the 7" at the 1108 House in Cedar Falls (with Nails and Bent Life, if you must know), so we stopped at the show to grab the 7". Below is the record release cover, but Tom Parkinson of Lord Green designed the normal cover. It was released by Volatile Recordings.

1. Conversion Therapy
2. Tongue Blood
3. Touched By A Demon
4. Kingdom
5. Traitor

Click to download.

In a little over a year after this 7" was released, Agress was no more. They did go on a few tours inbetween this time, like an August 2011 tour with Homewrecker to the east coast, but the most important thing they did before breaking up was record the "Darksided" record. I don't know the personnel involved in making this record happen outside of the band members themselves, but I do know that it's such a shame, criminal even, that this record never made it on to wax as it is Agress at their best. So nasty, so moshy, so dark, such a headbanger. I love the catchy metallic licks thrown in, the franticness of the vocals. The s/t 7" was good, but this demolishes that record in every way imaginable. "Darksided" is a fantastic, crushing swansong.

1. The Storm
2. Personal Poison
3. Gone
4. Goodbye
5. Dying Breed
6. Knowing Death

Click to download.

After the demise of Agress, members went on to form the even tougher Black Ice and the poppy Lover's Speed. Check them both out if you can. I haven't caught Black Ice yet, but have played a show with Lover's Speed in Cedar Falls at The Space. Good shit. Black Ice has a demo out and is on tour now.

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