Henry Garfield formed State of Alert (S.O.A) in October of 1980 with guitarist Michael Hampton, bassist Wendel Blow, and drummer Simon Jacobsen. The band released 13 songs through Dischord — three on the Flex Your Head compilation record and ten on the No Policy EP, which was Dischord's second-ever release — and performed a total of nine shows before calling it quits in July of 1981. First Demo 12/29/80 collects the eight songs that S.O.A recorded with Skip Groff during their first-ever recording session. Two of the tracks ("Disease" and "Stepping Stone Party") were released on Flex Your Head and "Gonna Have to Fight" was included on No Policy. The rest are unreleased versions. Seven months after this recording session, Garfield left Washington, DC and his last name behind, relocating to Los Angeles to become Henry Rollins, lead singer of Black Flag. Hampton, Blow, and Jacobsen would go on to perform in groups like The Faith, Embrace and Iron Cross.