By now you’ve likely heard the news of Gold Standard Laboratories' shut down, but we have to give props where they’re due…
In October of 1994, Angel Hair vocalist Sonny Kay released Bunny Ghenghis’ "Children Under Twelve/U-100" 7", the first of over 130 experimental punk releases from GSL. Over the past fourteen years, Kay’s label has turned out records from now-household names like The Rapture, !!!, The Locust, The Faint, and The Mars Volta (Omar Rodriguez-Lopez bought into the label in 2001), plus, perhaps most notably, iconic subterranean punk bands like Dead and Gone, Mohinder, Sunshine, and The VSS.
According to the label’s website:
"In recent years, we've experienced the onset of factors that have seriously limited our ability to maintain what we feel is the essence of the label; the experimental attitude and artistic freewheeling of times past are simply no longer sustainable."
While masses of GSL-influenced bands continue to rise to popularity (see Crystal Castles, Klaxons, and about 6,000 other UK-based bands), the label, in addition to ThreeOneG and Gravity, consistently adhered to its policy of releasing independent music that existed outside the norms–both mainstream and underground. The label’s back catalog will still be available through Red Eye Distribution and 11spot.com. While it's a sad day for punk, the label’s place in history will surely remain.
The VSS “Silt, Etc.” Live 1995
Get Hustle “Crushing Death” Live
The Locust “Half Eaten Sausage Would Like to See You In His Office”