Spy Kids were formed in 1990 in San Diego, California by like-minded souls who shared a love of Jamaican music and ska. The band drew its influences from a wide range of artists such as Bad Manners, The Upsetters, local San Diego bands The Donkey Show, Color Blind and Gangbusters, and contemporary California ska bands Let’s Go Bowling, Hepcat and The Specs, among others. After cutting their teeth playing local scooter club parties and ska shows around southern California, Spy Kids went into the studio to record a four-song self-titled demo tape. The pinnacle of the band’s whirlwind existence came shortly after, as they earned a supporting slot opening for UK ska legends The Selecter in Riverside California. By the middle of 1991, Spy Kids gradually came to an end as various members went on to join up with acts such as Flogging Molly, Unwritten Law, Buck-O-Nine, Unsteady and Pivit. Matt Hensley and Jason Bowen were also part of the early lineup of Chicago ska stalwarts Deal’s Gone Bad. Spy Kids last live performance was playing alongside the newly formed Buck-O-Nine at a wild party in Vista, CA which was broken up when the police threatened to send in a helicopter; perhaps a fitting end to the band’s short-lived yet frenetic initial incarnation. Fast-forward to a scooter ride in 2018 which brought several of the original members together; and discussion about re-recording the original songs sparked the process of getting the Spy Kids back together and into the studio. In February 2020, thirty years later, the band recorded the “Covert Action” album, consisting of five songs from its initial incarnation, the brand new reggae-influenced “Wrong Number”, plus versions of Jimmy Cliff’s “Harder They Come” and Prince Buster’s “Judge Dread”, featuring skateboard legend Ron Allen on vocals.