Quit While You're Ahead
In The Red
Back in 1989, the Action Swingers burst onto the NY underground music scene with one of the nastiest, snottiest, pissed-off 7-inch releases of all time. Written in fifteen minutes, rehearsed only once and recorded for $100, “Kicked in the Head” b/w “Bum My Trip” was an immediate slap in the face of garage punk fury. The band was the brainchild of singer / guitarist / songwriter Ned Hayden, who had previously played in the Nightmares and Pontiac Brothers. Backing him on their debut single was Julie Cafritz (Pussy Galore) on guitar and Johan Kugelburg on drums. The combination of Hayden’s bile-spewing vocals, the cavernous, fuzzed-out guitars and the trashcan drums made their debut single an immediate classic. Shortly after it was released, Kugelburg was relived of drum duties and replaced by J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr, Deep Wound), who was then replaced by Don Fleming, who played drums on the band’s follow-up single “Fear of a Fucked Up Planet.” For the better part of the ’90s, the band continued to record and release a slew of incredible albums and singles on various labels and became a revolving door for East Coast musicians. In addition to those named above, the Action Swingers featured Bob Bert (Sonic Youth, Pussy Galore), Pete Shore (Unsane, Boss Hog), Howie Pyro (Blessed, D Generation) and Bruce Bennett (A Bones), to name a few. The band toured Europe extensively where they gained a loyal following, particularly in the UK where they received much airplay from John Peel and...