Special limited white vinyl LP pressing of the classic 1982 EP from Bay Area hardcore/thrash legends, Social Unrest! Rat In A Maze was produced by Dead Kennedy’s East Bay Ray. Formed in 1980. Social Unrest released their first 7″ record in 1981 and were quite influential in the development of the Bay Area hardcore scene throughout the 1980s.
“Part of the lively Northern California punk rock scene of the ’80s, Social Unrest were a hardcore outfit whose abundant energy and defiant anti-authoritarian stance set a standard followed by many of their peers. Social Unrest were formed in Hayward, California in 1980, with the initial lineup featuring Creetin K-os on vocals, Doug Logic and Danny Norwood on guitars, John Vollick on bass, and Mark Monti on drums. After making a name for themselves with their hard-hitting live shows, they released their first EP in 1981, a three-song 7″ titled Making Room for Youth that was produced by East Bay Ray of the Dead Kennedys. The 7″ was released by local indie label Infrared Records, while Social Unrest’s next recording project would be released on their own Libertine Records imprint, the 12” EP Rat in a Maze, which was also produced by East Bay Ray. The band toured in support of the release, and also contributed the song “Their Mistakes” to the influential hardcore compilation Not So Quiet on the Western Front, which was compiled by the punk fanzine Maximum Rock N Roll in association with Alternative Tentacles Records.
By the time Social Unrest released their first full-length album, 1985’s SU-2000, the group had a new lineup; K-os, Logic, and Vollick were out, and vocalist Jason Honea, guitarist James Brogan, and bassist Ray Moses Vegas were in. A second album followed in 1986, Before the Fall, which was released by Libertine Records in the United States, while Konkurrel picked it up for distribution in Europe. Social Unrest launched another American tour after the album’s release, and played Europe for the first time in 1987; that same year, they also appeared on the anti-apartheid benefit compilation Viva Umkhonto. In 1988, the band dropped album number three, Now and Forever, which introduced new bassist Ron Isa and included a guest appearance from original vocalist Creetin K-os. Ironically, Now and Forever proved to be the final studio album from Social Unrest’s original run; the band broke up by the end of 1988, with the live album Mental Breakdown (recorded at a 1987 concert in Wolfsburg, Germany) issued as a farewell gesture.”
Jason Honea moved to Germany to pursue his education, and he formed a new band, Happy After Ever. Meanwhile, James Brogan joined the Bay Area pop-punk outfit Samiam. In 1995, Social Unrest’s recorded catalog was reissued on a pair of compilations from New Red Archives, Complete Studio Recordings, Vol. 1 and Complete Studio Recordings, Vol. 2. In 1996, Danny Norwood and Mark Monti reunited Social Unrest, recording a new studio album, New Lows, which featured Creetin K-os and Jason Honea taking turns on bass and vocals, and was produced by Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day. The group played occasional live shows, and released a 7″ vinyl EP titled Social Unrest in 2009, with another 7″, Songs for Sinners, following in 2010. In 2017, Social Unrest and New Red Archives teamed up to release a new vinyl edition of Before the Fall.
(New Red Archives Records)