Equal Vision Records is turning 30 this year, and we recently celebrated the legendary punk/hardcore/emo/more label's anniversary with a list of 10 of the most overlooked EVR releases. The label put out tons of classic albums over the past three decades, but it's also home to some great newer bands, so to keep the anniversary celebration going, we asked five of the label's current bands -- Be Well, Kaonashi, Greyhaven, All Get Out & Glacier Veins -- to tell us about their favorite classic Equal Vision album. Here's what they came up with...

Coheed In Keeping Secrets

Coheed And Cambria - In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3

Kaonashi's Ryan Paolilli says:

Coheed is essentially the glue that binds us all together in Kaonashi. We all bonded over Coheed and EVR. I can't tell you how many times we've listened to this record in the van, let alone all of the years we spent listening to it ourselves. I remember as a kid looking at the EVR logo on the back of the CD case, and searching EVR up and finding all these cool bands. This record molded us as musicians too even. But to be honest, not just this record, but so so many EVR releases have been longtime favorites of ours.

All Get Out's Nathan Hussey also picked this one and says:

Coheed and Cambria’s In Keeping Secrets from 2003 really took me for a ride. At that time I was just discovering more emotional music and was really enjoying the sound of sad songs as they were quite new to me. This album was a nice break from that and it reminded me that you could mix heavy music with pop notes and be totally ok. More than ok, amazing! It’s a serious but fun album. You know what, I’m going to spin it now.

TSOAF Tiger Duke

The Sound of Animals Fighting - Tiger and the Duke

Greyhaven's Brent Mills says:

I remember stumbling upon this band during my junior year of high school. I think I read about their break up in an Alternative Press magazine. I was such a big fan of that Chiodos Alls Well That Ends Well record at the time and reading that somewhere out there existed a "supergroup" featuring Craig Owens on vocals I knew I had to see what it was all about. Honestly, I was still really new to the underground "substream" music scene happening around this time (2008) and I was starving to get my hands on any kind of music I'd never heard of before. I called an old girlfriend who I knew had Limewire on her parents computer and I asked her to make me a CD of whatever she could find by this band and bring it to school the next day for me. She brought me three cd's worth of music and I had unknowingly amassed the TSOAF discography with one phone call. The first CD I threw on when I got home that day was Tiger and the Duke and I was instantly thrown into this maddening place full of strange and beautiful music laced with this incredible chaotic energy. I became obsessed with this record and it helped to inform me on how to experiment with music within any given genre. Boundaries that often fuel and structure a scene seemed fall away the more I leaned on this album and it reinforced that music can always be reimagined and remain artistic. This was at a time where all you need to hear was a Myspace era synth breakdown and you thought you were included in something no one else knew about. And still, there was something urgently relevant yet wildly timeless about everything I was hearing and through the years that sentiment has remained true. I wanted to talk about this record because this was my introduction to some of my favorite artists from that point forward and one thing I kept finding that so many of these acts seemed to all have in common was that one powerhouse label seemed to be putting their records out, Equal Vision Records.

Glacier Veins' Kyle Woodrow also picked this one and says:

This album is an incredible demonstration of how multiple artists can collaborate to create a very unique listening experience. The way these musicians use their talents to branch out and explore new sounds and motifs together is unmatched. Every time I listen to this record I hear something different. Whether it’s a new drum fill or bass line or any of the avant-garde style samples, this record just keeps on giving. For me this record represents free thought, something we are all lost without.


Shelter - No Compromise

Be Well's Peter Tsouras (who's also a former member of EVR bands Fairweather and Olympia) says:

In 1991 I was in 8th grade. I didn’t know it then, but the most important transition of my entire life had just taken place over the previous 3 years. I had completed the time-honored transcendence from mainstream rock, to punk, to hardcore. I had found my place. My friend told me that year that the singer from Youth Of Today was in a new band called Shelter. So as soon as I could, I picked up the first Shelter 7” from Smash! Records in Washington DC. If we’re being honest, I didn’t really get it at first. All of a sudden this guy was “singing” and I had just spent the last 3 years convincing myself singing was lame. But still, the energy was unmistakable. There was a sense of musical dynamics I hadn’t noticed before in my limited knowledge of what hardcore was, or what it could be. This is also around the time I had just started to become obsessed with playing the guitar. The idea that dynamics could be in a hardcore song all of a sudden made sense. The slow build-up of tension to a cathartic and explosive release spoke to me, and it’s been a part of my songwriting ever since. That’s what hardcore was and is to me. It’s the idea that the knots in your life might somehow loosen. These are those knots that have been wound so tight for so long you thought they could never be undone. Maybe that knot can’t ever be fully untied, but you all of a sudden understood that somehow it could be loosened. And you weren’t alone. Everyone had their own knots. And that was the feeling of hope that hardcore gave me.

If we’re still being honest, the two songs on this record aren’t even my favorite that EVR has put out. I could spend hours here talking about how records by 108, H20, Bane, Converge, 108 (again), Liars Academy, Codeseven, One King Down, Modern Life Is War, Saves The Day, Refuse To Fall, and so many others helped me become the guitar player and the person I am today. But that first Shelter 7” was my foot in the door to the world I was just discovering the possibilities of.


Check out videos from all the bands who contributed to this post, below...


More From Brooklyn Vegan