Formed in the punk frenzy of Wisconsin, then relocating to the West Coast decades back, Naked Aggression soon became of the fiercest political bands on the planet, global in their devouring scope and scale, hell-bent on tackling relevant issues and always fiery and caustic in their music onslaught. In doing so, they have also maintained long-term DIY networks and supported benefit causes across the spectrum, especially peace punk campaigns, feminist efforts, and Food Not Bombs work.
Their new album "Party Down" does not yield or back down from the fights that matter, as the tune "Party Down" itself reveals. With breathless outrage, it outlines all the profit-minded, technocratic, right-wing empowered bullshit that keeps everyone from freedom and true democracy, whether court systems that embolden corrupt corporation tendencies, a privilege that maintains systems of have and have-nots, private sectors seeking massive money, wars that feed the military-industrial complex, or the sheer lust for power that undergirds it all. And all that is encapsulated in one tune!
"Take a Stand" does not cede an inch of territory either: it is a fighting ode against the management class, the hierarchies and command structures, and the rat race and bosses that unleash tyrannies. It is furious, gripped by sheer velocity, and surges with sing-along patterns that keep listeners leaning into the anarchic anthems. Less cerebral, "FSU" (Fuck Shit Up) aims for the jugular, focusing less on the large view and more on the everyday street battles that define this modern digital society when protestors seek solidarity and direct action rather than armchair philosophy and memes. It ain’t Shakespeare, but a call to insurrection instead, in which being irate and empowered become a forceful engine for change.
Other tunes follow that sonic hammering, like "Shafted," which skewers the neo-liberals leaving behind human wreckage in pursuit of their policies; Never Too Late dives into violence, gun ferocity, and ongoing war, which create a whole ecosystem of pain and despair, like a kind of PTSD tattooed on the world. Meanwhile slower, pummeling "Bankrupt" aims to dismantle the cliché and lie of “Freedom isn’t free,” the calling card and slogan of the right-wing, which covers up the true costs of soldiers' blood, as well the gutted poor too, as stocks rise, business suits get purchased, and the elite keep their boots on the necks of the servant class.
Few bands on the circuit today have maintained such vigor and focus, ferocity and venom, and critical understanding of the big picture. Naked Aggression never slips into humdrum tales, never try to lighten their sound for soft trends, or turn off the glare of their headlights. Instead, they aim to revolt, again and again, against the cascade of chauvinism, conformity, and corporatized chaos.