Friday, July 1, 2011

Agonyflower - ( 1988 to 1990 )

AGONYFLOWER – Rockland County (1988 to 1990)

Rockland County has always had a vibrant and evolving hardcore punk scene, with bands starting out traditionally angry, fast, loud, and basically rudimentary and then branching out in many diverse directions….sometimes ending up quite a distance from the original 1,2,3,4,…..bash, bash, bash, that they began with…. Agonyflower was this band!

Agonyflower was formed in the spring of 1988 by Danny Derella ( ex-guitarist of the legendary New York hardcore band Underdog), and Chris Skelly (ex-vocalist of Selective Outrage). Both had grow disillusioned with the restrictive paradigms of late 80’s hardcore, and we’re keen to explore their mutual loves of the more 70’s rock oriented sludge of Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath….and the newer (yet still unknown at the time) bands coming out of Seattle like Mudhoney and Soundgarden. Pair this with some mild Dub influences and the free form punk experimentalization of bands like Sonic Youth and Agonyflower became an open canvas for the “anything goes” sort of song writing that followed.

Agonyflower was quickly rounded out by Steve Ellwanger from Park Ridge N.J on bass, and Dan Pettit from Putnam County N.Y. on drums. This lineup was hyper talented and creative, and worked for about 6 months on perfecting a quite dizzying selection of off kilter rockers that were quite unlike anything going on in Rockland at that point. Shortly after this…Chris Skelly left the band to pursue other projects, and Agonyflower became the 3 piece they are better known as to this day with Dan Derella taking over on vocals.

This lineup of Agonyflower was tremendously prolific, and continued on in the direction of the earlier songs…..retaining a healthy and powerful mix of influences that quite simply…no one else was mining back in those days, and in the process…recording a simple but amazing demo tape that as of this day is still lauded for it’s originality and talent.

As is the case with so many promising bands….Agonyflower simply ground to a halt in 1990. Whether it was public indifference, or simply the project had just run it’s course and the members were on to bigger and better things, it is safe to say that for 2 years…Agonyflower made the most important and vibrant music in Rockland County at that time, and for the handfuls of people who saw their live shows, or are still in possession of their remarkable demo tape….the memories and praise are bountiful and worthy! Long Live Agonyflower!

Chris Skelly.

Agonyflower - Demo Tape

Song #1
Song #2
Song #3
Song #4

No comments:

Post a Comment