In 2005, the Hudson Valley was introduced to a sound never-before heard there, or anywhere else. Eight insane primates constantly swapped instruments creating endless permutations of musical stylings, ranging from hip-hop, to blues, to psyechedelia and jazz, to reggae. With this infusion, The Alpha Male Gorillas (AMG) were born, and christened rock music with a new sound, honed and ready to be unleashed on unsuspecting audiences in the Hudson Valley Area. To the surprise of the Gorillas, the response was overwhelmingly positive, and left crowds wondering which of the following elements of this circus-of-a-band was the most original? Was it the beautiful mixture of so many different genres of music? Was it the constant dynamics and lineup changes during their live show? Or was it the lyrics and subject matter of their music?
After the release of their first record, “Band of Bugouts” in early 2006, AMG had achieved airplay on the Hudson Valley’s three largest radio stations: K104.7 (Pop), 101.5 WPDH (Classic Rock), and 96.9 WRRV (New Rock Alternative), with their hit single, “Bleed Marinara.” Shortly after the catchy “Italian rap” song hit the airwaves, the Alpha Male Gorillas headlined the first of their many shows at the impenetrable Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie, NY. The show was a monster success, setting attendance records for unsigned local acts. For the next two years, AMG continued to hammer the Hudson Valley, before journeying north to Albany, south to NYC, and then out of state (CT, NJ, and PA). For their events outside of their native habitat in downstate NY, the Gorillas charter the "Banana Bus" for their hometown fans, so that they may arrive safely to and from the concert.
In 2008, AMG entered The Bodog Battle of the Bands, along with 10,000 others worldwide for a $1 Million Dollar record contract with Bodog Music. After dominating three rounds of competition in the New York / Metro Battleground, AMG found themselves as finalists fighting for the title at The Fillmore New York in Irving Plaza against 12 other bands from the original 1,000 from the Northeast. Despite packing up the Banana Bus and dominating the fan voting portion of the competition, the judges thought otherwise. Down, but never out, the Gorillas hit the studio to write and record their second album.
As two members of the pack decided to pursue other interests, the Gorillas are currently a lean 6-member gang instrumentally featuring dueling guitars (The Don and OL’ Bluenote), piano and synth sounds (EZI, pronounced “Easy Eye”), drums (Deep Fry Defraia), and bass (Davey Heinz). Vocally, the Alpha Males feature 4 different vocalists with styles ranging from the guttural soulful blues of Stevey Ray Vaughan mixed with the croon of Ben Harper (OL’ Bluenote), to the wild intensity of Anthony Kiedis, combined with the haunting, introspective, and bass-rich wailings of Jim Morrison (Davey Heinz), to a cross between the punk-sensibilities and growlings of Eddie Vedder with the Hip Hop acrobatics of the GZA (The Don), all combined with a complete chameleon (Joe Milli) capable of hitting the high notes a la Ozzy while able tongue-twist with vigor like Eminem, with the chill factor of Bob Marley. With the remaining six focusing on their newly static instrumental setup as well as songwriting, the Gorillas traded entropy (and admittedly some novelty) for a deeper chemistry in the music. The resulting product is the creation of a new genre of music known as “HeaVy Mellow,” inspired by the scenic surroundings of the Hudson Valley, namely, The City of Newburgh, where absolute violent chaos and peaceful serenity are unlikely neighbors competing for dominance of the neighborhood. With a full two years of re-tuning and re-fueling in their new surroundings, AMG emerges victorious with their beast of a sophomore effort with a more serious tone, “No Working Title” in April of 2010. Thunder Roads Magazine says of the record, “These guys come roaring out of the mist with a vengeance. Taking on the establishment with topics ranging from Beach Bumming to ending the Federal Reserve, they paint a musical landscape with the resulting canvas being the image of a psychedelic carnival sitting alongside a long stretch on the highway of American broken dreams.”
With their new, full-length 69 minute musical journey, AMG manage to make the rock harder, the jams vibrant and colorful, the psychedelic bugged-out to the Nth degree, the hip-hop with purpose, and the comedic factor realistically dark in nature. It IS the sound of New York’s Hudson Valley, from the beautiful fall foliage of the mountains, to the littered and potholed brick roads of the ‘burgh. The music and lyrics detail a careful examination of the world in which we live, recognizing some of the most complex issues have the simplest of solutions, and that those solutions come from the primal nature in all of us to love first, fight second, and when all else fails, “FUGGETABOUDIT.”
The Alpha Male Gorillas are the Godfathers, Grandfathers, and Illegitimate Fathers of the HeaVy Mellow sound. They'll chill ya as hard as they'll thrill ya, with the lyrics and music speaking volumes loud enough to kill ya.