Dead Kennedys is an American hardcore punk band started in San Francisco, California in 1978. Fronted by the one of a kind Jello Biafra,the group grew to become part of the American hardcore punk movement of the early 1980s. They acquired a substantial underground fanbase in the worldwide punk rock community, and were one of the primary American hardcore bands to have a significant effect in the United Kingdom.
Their eclectic songs encompassed their particular signature, loud and fast hardcore, but also had influences as diverse as surf music, spaghetti western, psychedelic music, garage rock and also rockabilly.
Jello Biafra's satirical lyrics dealt with the particular sociopolitical concerns of the Reagan era with a distinctive sense of morbid humor and satire, following in the footsteps of similar earlier rock satirists as Frank Zappa and non-musical countercultural figures like Abbie Hoffman and Lenny Bruce.
During the mid-1980s, the band was caught up in an obscenity trial in the United States over the particular artwork associated with their album Frankenchrist (1985), which included the explicit titular subject of H. R. Giger's Penis Landscape. The group was charged with "distribution of harmful matter to minors", however in the end, the trial finally concluded with a hung jury.
Dead Kennedys released 5 studio albums prior to disbanding in 1986. Then in 2001, the band finally reformed without Biafra, who had previously been in a legal conflict with the remaining members of the band over royalties and in that respect there has been bitterness between Jello and the rest of the band after that.
Further info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Kennedys