Swing Kids
Discography


4.5
superb

Review

by indietrash USER (27 Reviews)
January 21st, 2007 | 26 replies | 10,833 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Swing Kids is the perhaps one of the most important and best punk bands of the 1990s. And this album rocks.

2 of 3 thought this review was well written

Swing Kids would have to be one of the most highly influential bands of the 1990s. Consisting of Eric Allen, Jose Palafox, [b]John Brady[/ib], and the brilliant Justin Pearson (also the founder and owner of Three One G records, where the band released their music) - this became one of the most important - and best, punk outfits from the '90s. This band was not only (alone) basically responsible for elevating the emoviolence scene to the punk public; they are also very important for the hardcore punk and art hardcore scene in the US.

They were influenced by fellow San Diegan hardcore bands Antioch Arrow and Drive Like Jehu, and also various other punk bands (especially Joy Division, which they - as you might have guessed from looking on the tracklist, cover on this album)). Their music is chaotic, angry and upset about something. So's the lyrics. And it ain't just chaotic, angry and upset - it's also very technically good. A broad sound, with highly creative guitar riffs, accompanied by fitting bass riffs and at times jazzy - at times fast and angry drumming makes the wall of sound that Justin Pearson either shouts passionately, or speaks eagerly over. The angry, confused and zealous poetry in the lyrics are bound to raise some hairs on your body.

Justin Pearson are by some considered an "Ian MacKaye of the '90s". Not without reason. There are quite a few similarities between Justin Pearson and Ian MacKaye.
Tthey both started their own record labels. They both started out in lesser known bands ([b]Teen Idles{/b] & Struggle). They both played in more (commercially) known bands afterwards Fugazi & The Locust). It's also worth mentioning that they both have been vocalists and bassists in a lot of various bands.
They are also both very important. And brilliant. Swing Kids are technically superior to many other contemporary punk bands. They make highly creative melodic and chaotic music. But still. They are characterized by Justin Pearson's beautiful voice of chaos. And not at least the amazingly well written words, that obviously are really upset about something. E.G. "Let the sucker burn. This sickening infection. The only thing melting in the melting pot is human flesh. Lies written in human blood. Lies." are the lyrics from the song "Disease".

This discography album consists of the band's self-titled 7" EP, the tracks from a split 10" EP (with Spanakorzo), and an unreleased track only available on this CD. It's just over twenty minutes long. Twenty wonderful minutes. There are only nine songs on this album, so you really get to absorb them properly. This album really digs into your brain, and stays there. If I were to compare it to other albums, the first ones that comes to mind are Everything Falls Apart by Hüsker Dü, the discography album by Minor Threat and perhaps the self-titled discography album by Rites of Spring - even though RoS is a bit slower than this madness, Justin Pearson kind of reminds of Guy Picciotti, passion and technical wise.

The songs are quite varied. It starts of hardcore with "El Camino Car Crash", and continues to get more and more aggressive - up until "Disease", which sounds more like free jazz than anything else. Well. The first one and a half minutes, at least. Still shows Palafox's ability to master the drums quite well.
The songs that really stood out to me at first, were the mentioned "El Camino Car Crash" and "Disease", as well as the Joy Division cover "Warsaw" (it's from that song they got the Three One G name) and my personal favourite piece of chaotic rage - "Blue Note", where Justin screams "I'm sorry to say, but it's not over" quite a few times, and later on "Maybe it's because we're all so incomplete" a few times over Eric Allen's genius, atmospheric guitar play. Also "Forty Three Seconds" is quite a gem. Brady's bass line is extraordinary good, and never fails to fall in the trap of playing the exact same thing as Allen's guitar. Justin's lyrics and vocals are perhaps at their peak here as well. When he goes "Just another kid on the beat, yeah" - you know you're witnessing something big.

All in all, this collection of emoviolence is a essential to any emocore fan. I have failed to find a single dull moment on this album. It's definitely worth all the stars I'm giving it. You should probably buy this, if you are a fan of high quality punk music. It's got everything. Attitude ("El Camino Car Crash" and "Warsaw"), passion ("Line #1" and "Blue Note"), classy tunes ("Disease" and "Forty Three Seconds") and rage ("Situation on Mars", "Clean Shade of Dirty" and "Intro to Photography").
Everything. 'Tis a brilliant album. And I really, really recommend it to any punk fan. If you don't have this album in your collection - you're truly missing out on something big.

"It's time to stop singin', and start swingin'" with the Swing Kids and their discography.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Intransit
January 21st 2007



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Justin Pearson are by many considered an "Ian MacKaye of the '90s". Not without reason. There are quite a few similarities between Justin Pearson and Ian MacKaye.
Here's the main three:

1. Justin Pearson & Three One G and Ian MacKaye & Dischord Records
involved with and heavily influenced by the forerunners of the San Diego hardcore punk scene of the 1990s.
2. Justin Pearson & Struggle and Ian MacKaye & Teen Idles
3. Justin Pearson & The Locust and Ian MacKaye & Fugazi.

So; they both started their own record labels. They both started out in lesser known bands. They both played in more (commercially) known bands afterwards. It's also worth mentioning that they both have been vocalists and bassists in a lot of various bands.
They are also both very important.

is totally extraneous and probably should be removed.

Your summary is pretty much retarded, and your grammar is very shoddy over all. You should probably fix these things.

Other than that, it was a pretty well written review. This Message Edited On 01.21.07

lunchforthesky
January 21st 2007



1039 Comments


Quick question how can a band who are supposedly the most important punk of the 90s have a discography of nine songs. Although i admit to not having listened to the band.This Message Edited On 01.21.07

Intransit
January 21st 2007



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just think its ridiculous to say this band that no one has really heard on this site could be the most important punk band of the 90's, when so many other bands have had such a far greater impact. Jawbreaker and Refused have both had a far greater impact, while inside of emo, City of Caterpillar and Indian Summer have both had a tremendous impact on the sound of emo in general.

The Jungler
January 21st 2007



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Rhapsody has this, so I may listen to this to see if it lives up to your hype.
lol @ them calling this the Discography EP

trustxdialect
January 21st 2007



1502 Comments


Did they release other albums or is this all of it conveniently placed together, adding up to a whopping total of nine songs?

And why is this a "punk" band but under "emo"?This Message Edited On 01.21.07

indietrash
January 21st 2007



85 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lunchforthesky: if you really haven't heard of Swing Kids, Justin Pearson or 31G, you're not into this sort of music (enough).

canyoneer: bands like Refused would be nothing without Swing Kids. if you were an eager Refused fan, you'd know that Refused state Swing Kids as a major influence. City of Caterpillar is third wave, and would be nothing without Swing Kids. I'll admit that Indian Summer is a huge band. but not _as_ huge as Swing Kids.

trustfxdialect: this is all they've recorded. and - it's an emoviolence band. emoviolence is a subgenré of emocore, hardcore, punk, rock. you know the tree. emocore is closer than punk.

lunchforthesky
January 21st 2007



1039 Comments


I like emotional hardcore.

I must have like twenty/thirty emo albums on my ipod how could i have missed such an apparent crucial band?

The Jungler
January 21st 2007



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's all right, but it's not really my thing. As far as emo music goes the small amount of stuff I listen to comes without the majority of the screaming.

this is kind of scary actually

/babyThis Message Edited On 01.21.07

Intransit
January 21st 2007



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Uh, I can safely say that just about anyone who listens to emo has heard of Indian Summer before they've heard of this band. And even then, look at the comments in this review. Plenty of people who listen to emo haven't heard of this band ever, but I'm sure have heard of Indian Summer or Moss Icon. To say this is the most important punk band of the 90's is just absolutely factually incorrect. Just because they might have influenced Refused doesnt mean that they in a roundabout way influenced all of the bands that consider Refused their main influence (Underoath, Strung Out, etc.). The association doesn't work that far out, and in fact, I doubt many of the bands influenced by Refused have even heard of this band. Whatever. Continue this flawed train of thought in this thread if you continue to feel that this is the most important punk band ever.

indietrash
January 22nd 2007



85 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I never said 'twas the most important punk band of all time. you are purposely over-exaggerating. I said 'twas perhaps one of the most important (and best) bands from the 1990s. I realize now that I have a typo (I forgot the "ONE of" part), but I stand my ground. Swing Kids are important. Justin Pearson is important. 31G is important.

descendents1
January 22nd 2007



702 Comments


jesus. not a fault of anyone for not hearing of this band. they were in fact influential. however, i've heard this album and to call it a 5 gives me cramps.

descendents1
January 22nd 2007



702 Comments


and stop being pretentious by saying 'tis and 'twas, nothing personal but it's douchebagular

it's like the entire review is a pretentious force-feeding of "this band is better than anything you have ever heard before." there's a lot of bias in here and it distracts me from your writing.This Message Edited On 01.22.07

pixiesfanyo
January 22nd 2007



1222 Comments


Swing Kids are an influential emo band.

All of you naysayers are people that are stupid.

indietrash
January 22nd 2007



85 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ok, descendents1. you don't like that I write 'tis 'n' 'twas. oh my. what will I do. I guess I'm a pretentios cock sucker then.

hail pixiesfanyou.

if you guys haven't heard of Swing Kids, it says more 'bout you than it does 'bout me. 'course you're pissed. someone says a band is important, and you dunkno 'bout it. if you seriously think City of Caterpillar or Refused are more important than Swing Kids, fine by me. but in my musicworld - they are. and I'll bet'chare able to find more people out there that'll state Swing Kids as a huuuuuuuge band, that made a huuuuuuuuge impact on the punk scene. so I suggest you check out the band instead of whining of how you've never heard of it before. that's what I do when I get tips on bands that I haven't heard of.

I appreciate the critique - but leave the "Swing Kids suck" and "I haven't heard of them" stuff outta here, a'ight lads? k. have a good one, or summat like that. cheers.This Message Edited On 03.18.07This Message Edited On 03.18.07

Intransit
March 18th 2007



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good album, but not even remotely classic. Also, your recommendations are wayyy offff

The Jungler
March 26th 2007



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't like this as much as I was hoping I would, based on your rating. Still, it isn't bad. I don't like the vocals all that much and the album sounds a little repetitive overall.

Still, it might grow.This Message Edited On 03.26.07

indietrash
March 26th 2007



85 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

imo - the vocals really helps make the album. Justin Pearson is just insane here. and I don't feel that it ever fails being innovative and creative from track to track.

hope it'll grow on yah ;)

americanmusicmachine
January 14th 2011



3953 Comments


indian summer sucks. swing kids are awesome tho.

thought i'd chime in on this 4 yr old conversation.

: - )

kanecooper
January 14th 2011



630 Comments


what? indian summer are probably better

americanmusicmachine
January 17th 2011



3953 Comments


no way man. like the train song and that um angry son song are good but that's like the only ones.



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