Swing Kids (band)

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This article is about the hardcore punk band. For other uses, see Swing Kids (disambiguation).
Swing Kids
Origin San Diego, California, United States
Genres Post-hardcore,[1] screamo, mathcore, jazzcore
Years active 1994–1997, 2009.,[2] 2011 (as Blue Note) [3]
Labels Three One G
Members Justin Pearson
Eric Allen
John Brady
Jose Palafox
Jimmy LaValle

Swing Kids were a post-hardcore[1] band from San Diego California during the mid-1990s. They were closely involved with and 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 and song structures. Swing Kids were influenced[citation needed] by fellow San Diego bands Antioch Arrow and Drive Like Jehu. On a broader scale, their music and lyrics were influenced by 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 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 many of their fans emulating Pearson's fashion sense and hair style. The name comes from Leonard Nimoy's character from the Star Trek television series & films, and more specifically his haircut.

Justin Pearson would later go on to play in other bands such as The Locust, Holy Molar, Some Girls, The Crimson Curse, All Leather, and a DJ outfit named Leg Lifters. Eric Allen, who committed suicide in 1998,[citation needed] played with the hardcore band Unbroken.

Swing Kids played two reunion shows, both with Unbroken: a mostly secret[clarification needed] show on May 8, 2009 at the Ché Cafe at UCSD in San Diego, CA and on May 9, 2009 at the Glass House in Pomona, CA. The Pomona show was a benefit for selected charities, and tickets were sold out very shortly after going on sale, despite the $25 price[citation needed]. According to fans[who?], the shows ranged from "really, really, good" to "amazing, totally unbelievable."[citation needed] Eric Allen's mom came out right before the last Unbroken song at the Glasshouse show and thanked everyone briefly.[citation needed]

In 2011, Justin Pearson, Jose Palafox, Jimmy LaVelle and John Brady, accompanied by Nathan Joyner, briefly reunited under the name Blue Note, for a short tour of Europe.[3]




  1. ^ a b Baron Zach (December 9, 2008). "Nostalgia Whiplash: Swing Kids and Unbroken Reunite in California". The Village Voice. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ Alternative Press website, "Five We Fought Over", June 2008 [1] Access date: July 12, 2008
  3. ^ a b http://threeoneg.com/news/blue-note

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