SOCIAL UNREST ~ Making Room For Youth EP (Infra Red 1981)

Giving the Germs' Lexicon Devil EP (four verified sleeve colors) a run for INE's Roy G. Biv Award is Social Unrest's Making Room For Youth EP. This Hayward outfit's great riffs and sang-like-he-fucken-means-it vocals on the debut EP and the crushing follow-up Rat In A Maze mini-LP catapulted Social Unrest far above the seemingly endless list of punk and hardcore bands with social/society names. In doing the completist routine of rounding up multiple sleeve colors (a sickness of mine surpassed only by an Orange County collector known for his strict intra-state fetish and his vanquishing of the Cavity Creeps from the Southern California scene), I noticed further differences on sleeve and label layouts. The three words we've learned to love bubbled forth: "it never ends". Tweakers, start your engines...

A scanner can't quite capture the cornea-bending fluorescent red

The above red sleeve is printed on thick duplex stock (the paper inside the foldover is white and includes lyrics and info). The blue sleeve has identically printed artwork but is chopped a bit further down (i.e. the sleeve ain't as tall). These are the earliest issues presumably issued simultaneously.

Blue seems to pop less frequently than the fluorescent red

The "never ending" feeling emerged when I noticed that two red sleevers I had in hand contained vinyl with two different labels. Writing in the run-off groove revealed both had been pressed from the same original stampers. Which was first?

OPTION A: Candy apple red with "Infrared" (one word) at bottom

OPTION B: Brownish red with "Infra Red" (two words) at bottom

I surveyed five usual suspects, all with the fluorescent red sleeves... and, of course, three people had one label, two had the other. So much for definitive answers. Back to picture sleeves... there are two other colors: white and yellow. There are three distinguishing differences between these two and the red and blue: (1) photocopy process (instead of litho), (2) stylized band logo on back sleeve, and — most significantly — (3) the addition of an address that jibes with SU's 1982 release. White is rarer than yellow but both are certainly later issues. I'm willing to bet a waffle dinner on it.



The band name on the back changed from a straightforward font on the first run sleeves...

blueback a more stylized logo on the second issue.


So what gives with the red sleeve coupled with the brownish/two-word label? Two possibilities:

° Mismatches caused by collectors' carelessly upgrading without noticing subtle label differences. I, for one, could've easily done this years ago before the my eyes got their proper collector scum training.

° Leftover first issue sleeves put on second press vinyl. Considering overruns are endemic to the litho process, one could easily imagine the band using up extras and running off photocopy sleeves for the remainder of the new vinyl batch.

Intuition tells me the former is the real explanation but only a wider survey can decide it for me one way or another. To reiterate... red and blue sleeves are first presses and were undoubtedly coupled with the OPTION A label (one word "Infrared"). Yellow and white sleeves are second presses and in an unmixed-up world would be paired with OPTION B label (two words "Infra Red"). If you have a copy of the Making Room For Youth EP, drop a line and tell me what you've got and your copy's history if you know it.

If you're one of the unfortunate souls who've never set ears on the first two Social Unrest releases with Creetin K-OS on vox, there's a reissue CD entitled Complete Studio Volume I that includes the Making Room For Youth EP + Rat In A Maze mini-LP (Libertine 1982) + the SU2000 LP (their 1985 full-length with a new singer). Hopefully, New Red Archives didn't subject Social Unrest to the same unforgivable remix butchery that befell Reagan Youth's 1985 Youth Anthems For The New Order LP (a masterpiece in its original form). I can see some studio wizard know-it-all insisting on "toning down" the tweeter punishing treble on Rat In A Maze (first press is black vinyl with thin paper insert — later presses on red or black vinyl include cardstock inserts with info on later releases).

That's it for this lucky thirteenth INE installment... thanks to John E and Scott M for additional scans and to all the collector scum who answered the battery of INE queries.

— Ryan Richardson
February 1, 2006

UPDATE June 2009:

Praise be! Social Unrest's Mark Monti has finally provided the definitive pressing info on this EP, and it turns out BMF's hunches were pretty much on the money. Here's the score:

1st press: Orange/fluorescent red PS with single word (Infrared) candy apple red labels. 1000 copies.
2nd press: Blue PS with single word (Infrared) candy apple red labels. 1000 copies.
3rd press: Yellow PS with two word (Infra Red) brownish red labels. 500 copies.
4th press: White PS with two word (Infra Red) brownish red labels. 500 copies.

Thanks to Greg at Artifix Records for forwarding this info to me.

Additions? Corrections? Get in touch: Break My Face


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