Nostalgia Whiplash: Swing Kids and Unbroken Reunite in California


In a weird convocation of mid-nineties California hardcore, the Swing Kids and Unbroken are apparently reuniting to play a May 9, 2009 benefit show in Pomona, CA. The leap from Unbroken–a muscular, stalwart, straight-edging grim outfit playing out the last of Black Flag’s punk-rock string–to the frenetic, fashionable, jazz-quoting Swing Kids (with whom Unbroken shared a guitarist, Eric Allen) is as clear an illustration of the moment “hardcore” became “post-hardcore” as any other. One day, in other words, kids were being kicked out of the scene for being insufficiently committed to not smoking cigarettes, and the next, those same kids were rolling around the floor, covering Joy Division songs and experimenting with guitar feedback and black clothing. Swing Kids frontman Justin Pearson would go on to found the Locust and Three One G records and, as Wikipedia helpfully reminds us, to participate in the “unintentional creation of the fad “Spock Rock” during the mid 1990s,” largely due to fans “emulating Pearson’s fashion sense and hair style.” Like punk rockers, spock rockers still exist today.

And so, for one day anyway, will the Swing Kids. This Skylab fantasy bill also features the similarly venerable Undertow and a few bands–Jenny Piccolo, Fast Forward–who took up the flag when first Unbroken and then the Swing Kids dropped it. The causes are unclear (“Planned Parenthood Che Café Monarch School for troubled families San Diego Women’s Shelter and many more!”) but respectable. One senses that nostalgia may in fact be the primary motivator here–which, given the amount of people who remain nostalgic for this era, only makes sense. As they promise, “No barricade, No bouncers.” [Punk News]

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