Photo Credit (Lightning Bolt): Owen Ela
Today, seminal experimental label Load Records announced that after 24 years of existance, it would be closing its doors. The message was delivered in a tweet today:
After 24 years of Load Records its time to move on. Will be contacting bands to arrange next steps. Thanks for a great ride.
— Load Records (@Loadrecords) April 10, 2017
The label released many of the best and most challenging albums of the last few decades, include works by Khanate, Arab on Radar, Lightening Bolt, Clockcleaner, Brainbombs, Pink and Brown (and early band featuring Jon Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees) and more. Based in Providence, RI, the majority of its roster came from the mid-size Northeastern city that has a surprisingly thriving avant-garde and experimental scene. Bands with releases on the label were known for pushing the envelope sonically, lyrically and aesthetically.
The first ever release for the label was back in 1993 with Boss Fuel’s Just Like Everybody Else Would / Bender with 1997’s split 7″ between featuring Lightning Bolt and Forcefield being one of the first to feature bands that would go on to achieve national recognition.
Curiously, the most high-profile artist to release a record through the label was Andrew W.K. The party-rocker’s third album Close Calls with Brick Walls initially only saw release in Japan and Korea in 2006. By 2007 Load Records released the record in the United States for the first time, on vinyl. It eventually saw wider distribution on compact disc via major label Universal years later in 2010.