Bad Brains Logo


State of Alert (S.O.A.), led by the gruff and arresting delivery of vocalist Henry Garfield, made music both combative and incredibly concise, often in sub-one-minute packages. Garfield (who changed his last name to Rollins in 1981 when he moved to California to join Black Flag), guitarist Michael Hampton, bassist Wendel Blow, and drummer Simon Jacobsen (replaced in the band’s final months by future Faith drummer Ivor Hanson) released an EP on Dischord, No Policy and several songs on the Flex Your Head compilation. Active from Fall 1980 to Summer 1981, S.O.A. was a short-lived but important part of the D.C. hardcore scene’s development. Aside from Rollins’ tenure in Black Flag, band members appeared later in the Faith, Iron Cross, Embrace, One Last Wish, the Snakes, and Manifesto.

Drawn from the Sharon Cheslow Punk Flyers collection, the D.C. Punk collection, and the D.C. Punk and Indie Fanzine collection at Special Collections in Performing Arts at the University of Maryland.

Tap or hover over an image to learn more.