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Naked Aggression

Naked Aggression was formed in early '91 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison by a couple of classical music students named Phil Suchomel and Kirsten Patches. Feeling frustrated by the rigid confines of their department, they retreated to the basement of their house to start feeling out their survival songs for outsiders. Soon the two moved to California, where they joined up with drummer Aaron "Kid Rock" Austin and bassist Joe "Fucko" Garcia and became a part of the early '90s Bay Area punk scene. During their time in the Bay Area, and later L.A., they were a model of productive, pro-active punk rock energy, releasing spates of records and raising money for numerous human rights causes.

Their sound is classic: furious, high-speed punk propelled by chugging bass and drums and runaway guitars. Patches's belted vocals are the aural equivalent of an angry bird of prey being buffeted by high winds; these give way to bellowed group chant choruses. But Naked Aggression wasn't afraid to deviate from their straightforward balls-out punk from time to time by occasionally slowing the tempos down, inserting some proggy guitar parts, and bringing in additional instrumentation like keyboards and even a French horn. Their songs all sound like they're written by the alienated for the alienated, and seem to explode with I-don't-give-a-shit-let's-just-have-a-good-time energy. The opening lyrics to "Every Day Another Conflict," the first song on Naked Aggression's brilliant '98 record, Gut Wringing Machine, exemplify the tenor of the band: "Don't got no cash or a future and most people don't like me/ I don't get so hung up; I don't get so hung up."

Alas, Naked Aggression is no more. In April '98, Kirsten Patches decided to break up the band after its guitarist and principal songwriter (and by then also her husband), Phil Suchomel, died tragically from asthma-related complications.

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