Swing Kids were a post-hardcore band from San Diego California during the mid 1990s. The band members were Eric Allen (of Unbroken), Jose Palafox (of Struggle and Bread and Circuits), John Brady (of Spanakorzo and Sweep The Leg Johnny), Jimmy LaVelle (The Album Leaf) and frontman Justin Pearson (later of The Locust), who would release their recordings on his own Three One G record label. They were closely involved with and heavily influenced by the forerunners of the San Diego hardcore punk scene of the 1990s.
Their music was characterized by Justin Pearson's spoken/screamed vocals and their melodic/chaotic rhythms & song structures. Swing Kids were most obviously influenced by fellow San Diegan bands Antioch Arrow and Drive Like Jehu. On a broader scale, their music and lyrics were influenced by punk rock and post-punk.
Swing Kids carried the San Diego "art hardcore" movement past the initial wave of Gravity Records bands and through to the late 1990s, releasing a 7" EP and split 10" EP along the way. Despite their importance in a relatively small scene, Swing Kids' impact both during their tenure and after their 1997 breakup was global thanks to many independent Zines and a US/European tour. The sound they pioneered inspired and can be heard in bands such as The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower, Refused, Orchid, Jerome's Dream and many others.
Swing Kids are also credited with the unintentional creation of the fad Spock Rock during the mid 1990s; largely due to the fact that many of their fans emulated singer Justin Pearson's fashion sense and hair style. The name comes from Leonard Nimoy's character (and more importantly his haircut) Spock from the Star Trek television series & films.
Justin Pearson would later go on to play in other bands such as The Locust, Holy Molar, Some Girls, and The Crimson Curse. Eric Allen, who committed suicide in 1998, played with the seminal hardcore band Unbroken. They have since reformed for several local and international tours under the name Blue Note.
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