Dead Kennedys are a hardcore punk/punk rock band from San Francisco, California. During the 1980s the band gained a large underground following in the international punk music scene. Their music mixed the more experimental elements of English 1970s punk with the raw energy of the 1980s American hardcore punk scene. Dead Kennedys’ songs mix the deliberately shocking lyrics of punk with a satirical and sarcastic left-wing commentary on social and political issues. Many of the band’s songs criticize the religious right and the Ronald Reagan administration, along with many other personalities and ideas.
The band played hard and fast punk that matched the raw energy of the West-coast scene with twists such as 'East Bay Ray’s' (Raymond Pepperell) surf-guitar influences and Jello Biafra’s (Eric Reed Boucher) nasal machine-gun vocals and political fervor conveyed through furious left-wing rants.