Yorktown Heights, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Yorktown Heights, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Funk




"The Working Musician CD Review - "Peaceful Observer""

Horn rock. There's nothing quite like the kick in the ass you get from brass. The thunk of the funk dissipates the pain in your veins, eases the grind in your mind. The hard-charging swagger of Anthony Gach & Harmonic Aggression delivers the heavy soul of Genya Ravan and Ten Wheel Drive, the hip cutting of Tower of Power, and the punk, two-tone energy of The Specials. The band consists of Anthony Gach (trumpet/vocals), Catie Graves (vocals), Adam Ness (sax), Jim Caviness (trombone), Josh Bookin (guitar), Dave Cohn (bass), Randy Hill (keyboards), Dustin Frost (percussion), Chris DiGregorio (drums). Anthony Gach wrote all the songs except for "Keep on Singing," composed by Dan Elliott.

The album title, "Peaceful Observer," pretty much describes the vocalists' point of view. The somewhat crytpic stream-of-consciousness lyrics depict a rich, Jungian, inner life. In "Angelwood," Gach intones, "There's light outside my windows and I'm laying down to sleep. Gotta get up for work soon, now I'm catching z's and I'm counting my sheep. But it don't mean as much as it should, here at Angelwood." More obscurity follows in "Brofounda." "All the signs have changed, the reasons are unclear. The battle's over, now there's nothing left to fear. Another leash on life was coined for getting caught. With a little despair to many distressed and to the rest distraught."

Anthony Gach composes, arranges, sings and plays trumpet well indeed. Other standouts include singer Catie Graves, bassist Dave Cohn, and trombonist Jim Caviness. I love when Graves cuts loose and scats on "Keep on Singing." "Keep on loving what you got. Keep on dancing in your spot. Keep on shaking what is hot. Keep on giving all you got. Keep on fighting what is wrong and we'll all try to get along. Keep on singing to this song, keep on, keep on singing." The bass line to "Prelude" (which later appears in "Angelwood) so hooked me with it's trifecta of blues, jazz, and funk that I had to whip out my bass and learn it! In the middle of "Brofounda," where the beat shifts from funk to rock overdrive, Caviness unleashes a fiery fury of locomotive breath.

Refresh and invigorate yourself with the horny passion of Anthony Gach & Harmonic Aggression. Toss away cookie-cutter, computer-generated pablum. Instead, embrace a gang of visionaries who mind-meld to create a uniquely loveable vibe!

©2016 Roger Zee - Roger Zee

""Live it Up" - Song Review"

Take Broadway uptown, and then continue north where the rooftops turn to treetops, and there you will find the sounds of composer and songwriter Anthony Gach.

Mixing his love of big city funk with the singer-songwriter melodies of upstate New York, it wasn’t until after being a freelance vocalist and player on multiple instruments including trumpet, guitar, and bass that Anthony Gach stepped into the role as bandleader, forming an eleven piece horn fronted band he named Harmonic Aggression in 2014.

Attacking all directions of the musical spectrum, the album ‘Ignite & Elevate’ was born. Although Anthony Gach & Harmonic Aggression focuses on funk, soul, and R&B, Anthony Gach explored the depths of ballad writing and didn’t shy away from his acoustic side.

Shining a light on the eighth song found on the tracklist, we come to “Live It Up.” Carrying an old-school Hip-hop feel to the overall composition, we admire the complexity that shines through the crisp and golden horn notes as we rhythmically sink into the cutting-edge approach showcased. With an abundance of sounds pouring through your speakers, you’re still able to grasp onto the passion heard through each harmonized note conveyed.

Anthony Gach presents his vocal tenors in a way that radiates confidence and charisma. As he delves into the soothing execution of his emcee-like verses, we feel the drive of his soul overflow with musicality performed. Everything coincides so extremely well together. We capture prevalent energy that you don’t quite reach these days with the abundance of electronic soundscapes taking over the analog world.

The recording of “Live It Up,” feels natural in the way it's performed as the authenticity of proper live-off-the-floor recording channels the nostalgic hues and love put into music. Be prepared to take in killer vocals, euphonious harmonies, a redefining guitar solo, and enough dynamism to shake the ground you walk.

Welcome to BuzzMusic, Anthony Gach & Harmonic Aggression. What a beautiful experience it was listening to “Live It Up.” The concept was executed so well! What inspired the creation of this song?

Firstly, thank you for your kind words. It makes me happy to share my music with new ears.
“Live It Up” came to life in my desire to portray a lyrically uplifting tune on the album “Ignite & Elevate.” While not always so on every song, my lyrics tend to focus on the struggles of an artist. Very autobiographical, and the stories I tell don’t really have a conclusion because not all of my goals have yet been accomplished. Musically, the bulk of my writing is in antithesis to this as it is upbeat funky and danceable. So I wanted to break the mold and showcase a more all-around uplifting song. This song is in its truest form a rap song, the only one on the album. After all the instruments were tracked I just thought it grooved so hard that I decided to see what a rapper might do over it. Over the years the band has changed shape from a very set lineup to me, the drummer Randy Hill and vocalist Catie Graves. Rounding out the rest of the band on the recordings and in a live setting could be any number of musicians we’ve encountered and trust. The best way to create chemistry with so many players is to throw a bunch of cover songs into the live set. When we met Wayne Patrik and invited him to play with us we were able to add a hip hop to our shows as he is as capable an MC as he is a keyboard player. It was unexpected when he started busting out the old school hits but we went with it and it became a part of our sound. I needed to incorporate that somehow on the record and Wayne penned and rhymed on the track while Catie sang the hook.

How does “Live It Up,” compare to other songs heard on the album? Why does it stand out to you?

Going back to the time we spent as a cover band to meet new players and establish chemistry, I didn’t want to fall into another bar band situation; although with our large horn section we were never just another bar band. The idea I had is that if we’re going to do covers; we’re going to do a themed night or tribute night to an individual artist. And for two years we covered a wide variety from Country to Madonna, Motown, Prince, 90’s R&B, and hip hop to our most popular Chicago Tribute show. The ability to successfully weave between genres is what inspired me to write this album in such variety. While the record lays mostly in funk and R&B, I dabble in Latin rock, folk, country, and blues; and of course with this track, rap.

Could you please take us into what the creative and recording process was like when bringing this track to life? How long did it take to capture 11 different instruments in a single recording?

As stated above, I had wanted to fit a rap sing somewhere on the album but the actual rap song I did write didn’t make it onto this album. I had a melody for the female singer to take throughout the whole song as I’ve said above, it’s not until I was able to hear everything together is when I scrapped the melody on the verses and decided to make this the rap tune. And that last-minute rewriting is very unusual for me. I wrote the bassline first and that groove set the pace of the rest of the song. I’m very fortunate to be able to play a bunch of instruments at an above-average level so once I have all my ideas organized into verses and choruses, bridges solo, etc, I’ll record all the parts on my home recording gear. I’ll record all the horn lines on the trumpet and sing the female parts in falsetto. Then I’ll notate all the parts out. I’ll send the recorded demo and the sheet music to all the players and by the time I schedule any time at a real studio, everybody knows how the song should go and what exactly to play. While the album does give the musicians to flex a little; the majority of everything you hear is pre-written. In some recording sessions, I get lucky and we all get in the studio at the same time but most of the time we track each rhythm instrument separately on different days. The horn section is always recorded all at the same time and “Live It Up” has a full horn section with alto sax, tenor sax, bari sax, trombone, and trumpet. Then, of course, the vocals are recorded last and separately. It seems more daunting than it is; as long as I do my job to prep everybody properly, everything always falls into place.

What is the meaning behind the ‘Ignite & Elevate’ album? What are you hoping your audience takes away from it?

Because our original EP and follow-up single concentrated more on solos and jams, I tended to discard any material that didn’t meet that jam/funk sound. I tried to sell my other songs to other artists with very little success and I incorporated some of them into my solo performances. I think this album really showcases my writing as we stay away from extended solos and weave in and out of different genres. The significance of the title Ignite and Elevate mirrors the painting of the Phoenix on the cover which reflects our new direction; concentrating on big arrangements and song structure. I never had a strong desire to be a performer but my passion has always been in writing and arranging. Of all the original bands I’ve been in since HS, I have always been the main songwriter. But I never wanted to be your typical acoustic singer-songwriter either; I always wanted big arrangements and never had a full horn section before the advent of this project.

What's next for you?

Firstly, I’d like to push the album to as many listeners as possible. I think this record has such a varying display of moods, instrumentation, and different vocalists which I believe fits perfectly into today’s playlist industry. The next album has already been written and we’ve begun tracking some of the new songs. While I do love performing with the band, my goal is to play fewer shows but at better clubs. I’d like to get out of the bar scene and in NYC and Westchester there’s no shortage of clubs that want original music. I think ultimately it would be in my personal interest to continue to record my songs whether we play live a lot or a little. I’d also like this album to serve as a resume of sorts to be able to promote myself as a songwriter and an arranger in hopes of finding work with other bands as well. I’d hope to pitch some of these songs to be considered for soundtrack syncs as well. - Buzz Music

"Album Review - Anthony Gach & HARMONIC AGGRESSION - "Ignite & Elevate""

Anthony Gach & HARMONIC AGGRESSION are ending their year in groove heaven. They recently released a new full length entitled Ignite & Elevate which contains thirteen impeccable funk-infused compositions. Gach has covered all the bases. Every song on the album carries its own exotic flavor. Gach powers through multiple genres including funk, jazz, r&b, rock and pop. In many instances he throws multiple influences into the pot and creates the perfect blend of aural incandescence.

Westchester bandleader Gach formed the populous HARMONIC AGGRESSION in 2014. The horn heavy ensemble was created by Gach as a vehicle to incorporate his love of hard rock guitar riffs with high energy funk. His songs contain tightly arranged horn lines with an emphasis on drums and bass grooves.

The band released their first EP entitled Peaceful Observer in 2016 with a follow-up single, “The Game” in 2019. Due to their extensive gigging, HARMONIC AGGRESSION built a sizable fanbase and played throughout the tri-state area. They even had their record release party at the famed NYC hotspot the Bitter End on Bleeker Street. Prior to Ignite & Elevate‘s release in 2021, Gach asked himself what kind of direction he wanted to go. The final answer: “why not all directions”!. While focusing on funk, soul and R&B, Gach explored more ballad writing and did not shy away from including an acoustic side. The end result became Ignite & Elevate!
HARMONIC AGGRESSION contains a large contingent of musicians and vocalists. The quality of the musicianship displayed on the album is impeccable. Gach has assembled an outstanding group of players and singers. This includes Kris Carmello, Nick Chiapparino, Catie Graves, Seth Nicholson, Jeremy James , Wayne Patrik, Ivan Polanco and Gach himself all sharing vocal duties. His horn section is also quite impressive utilizing the talents of Simon Pajaro (Tenor Sax), Joe Natale (Bari Sax), Alex Slomka (Trombone), Corey MacCrae (Alto Sax) and Anthony Gach (Trumpet).Guitars were handled by Michael Simonelli, Jon Chapman, Kevin Myers (Slide Guitar), Jeffrey Velez, Touro Sentado and of course Gach. Drums are handled masterfully by Randy Hill. A myriad of other players dot the record as well.

Ignite & Elevate opens with the swinging “The Happiest Day”. From the get-go the hips are moving and the feet are shuffling to the funky beat. The horns are driving and the backbeat is contagious. Gach‘s vocals fits right in with the sonic magic HARMONIC AGGRESSION is laying down. Pure euphoria. On “Blackslidin” the horns come alive. Every note is dynamic and the vocal play between Gach and Catie Graves is delightful..
On “Fly Away”, the tempo slows and the organic blues song showcases another facet of the band. Nick Chiapparino’s lofty vocals are impressively emotional and gripping. Graves’ backing vocals are celestial. “F-U-N-K Why?” follows next and the power of Graves’ voice is in full force. Her infections and tone are perfect. The guitar has a swagger and the horns blare with righteous funk. “Burn Me” features Kris Carmello on vocals. The track has an audacious flow with a thumping bass line and stellar percussions. Simonelli’s guitar solo is sparkling.

HARMONIC AGGRESSION then offers an extremely unvarnished blues song. “I Dunno Blues” is the band stripped down to Gach on guitar/vocals and Kevin Myers on slide guitar. The gnarly cadence is adventurous and smoothly edgy. “Revenant” brings the band’s soulful demeanor into play. Jeremy James’ vocals are fervently sharp with a rich resonance. ” The horns come blaring back on “Live It Up”. Wayne Patrik’s rap vocal is gutsy and Harmonic Aggression come out swinging. The song is monstrous. Definitely one of the highlights on the record.

“Hold Me, Too” has a melodic panache with an easy gait and up front vocals. “That Shot’ distributes a Latin flavor with lush textures and cinematic beats. The horns and percussions rule. Ivan Polanco’s vocals are memorable with a dynamic flair. “Hiding In Shadows” is a bold R&B treasure with its melancholy keyboards. Graves once again delivers a dynamite vocal performance. “One Step Closer” finds Gach solo with a great vocal and a spectacular guitar. Ignite & Elevate ends with the rocking “Peaceful Observer”. It is a perfect example of the strong songwriting on the album.

Ignite & Elevate is slick, cool, and a spicy tour de force. Anthony Gach & HARMONIC AGGRESION are an entity to be reckoned with. Listen to this record or catch them live. You will not be disappointed. - AMP music/ Ralph Beauchamp



Take Broadway uptown and keep on going where the rooftops turn into treetops and there you will hear the sounds of Anthony Gach & HARMONIC AGGRESSION.  Mixing the rhythms of big city funk with melodies of folk and Americana, HARMONIC AGGRESSION touch upon a variety of genres while bringing it all back home to straight rock n' roll.  
In 2014, Anthony Gach, working modestly as freelance musician decided to take the leap into the always risky yet very addicting world of original music.  He'd done this several times before with a varying degree of success and failure and his prolonged absence from the scene triggered a desire to return to it with a bit more wisdom and a lot more experience.  Gach used a self produced demo to book a few performances under the name HARMONIC AGGRESSION and he now had a deadline to write some songs, find a band, and rehearse a set of original music and in just a few months of hustle, he did just that debuting the project in the now defunct club Fontanas on the Lower East Side of New York City.  Alternating between the New York City and Westchester County, HARMONIC AGGRESSION built a small but loyal following and in 2016 they put out their debut EP "Peaceful Observer." While only containing an extended intro and three full songs, Gach was writing and arranging at a fast pace and the band was playing three hour shows of original music with the occasionally unique arrangement of a cover song.  With a few lineup changes and a brief hiatus to regroup, a follow up single entitled "The Game" was released in 2019.  Unexpectedly, they started to gain recognition for their cover song arrangements and started to double as not only an original band, but a wedding and corporate events band and up until March of 2020 had a monthly showcase where the audience would pick the theme of the night and the band would perform songs related to the theme or specific artist.  These shows would dictate the band's original sound moving forward as Gach started to incorporate influences from the different genres the covered that he may not have given as much of a chance previously.  These new compositions were written, arranged, recorded throughout 2020 and in May 2021the band released their first full length album "Ignite & Elevate."  Overall the album celebrates the funk rock sound, but some of their songs drift into country western, folk, latin and hip-hop, and Gach's arrangements became more complex.  With a new release in tow, Anthony Gach & HARMONIC AGGRESSION had to wait until Covid 19 restrictions eased a bit more and scheduled an album release party in August.  While receiving a great reception, the remaining months proved to be a bit slower than intended as some venues they had booked had to cancel due to the spread of the virus amongst their staff as well as increased mandates.  They did however get to perform a few more times, and headlined the opening night of a new music venue in Danbury, Ct.  2022 holds much promise as the band is working on a new full length album while simultaneously looking to fill they summer schedule   

  The band features a horn section of Joe Natale (Bari Sax), Simon Pajaro (Tenor Sax), Corey MacCrae (Alto Sax), Alex Slomka (Trombone), and bandleader and songwriter Anthony Gach splitting trumpet duties with the occasional lead vocal role.  Wayne Patrik also contributes his vocal abilities as both an MC and singer while holding down all the keyboards and synth parts.  Jeffrey Velez blends his rhythm and lead playing atop the guitar stool while contributing vocally,  and Seth Nicholson on bass forms the powerhouse of the band alongside drummer Randy Hill who takes charge of everything the rhythm section from downbeat until closing time.  And of course, Catie Graves commands the stage as the band's lead vocalist.  

Band Members