After two consecutive weeks showcasing British labels (Fierce Panda and Big Scary Monsters) we return stateside with a look at New York's very own Equal Vision Records. The label has a distinctly hardcore punk background after being founded by Ray Cappo in 1990. Ray Cappo was the frontman for various hardcore punk bands including [mp3com-artist]Youth Of Today[/mp3com-artist] - a band who did much to establish a genre ethos of unity as well as subcultures such as 'straight edge' (refraining from any sort of alcohol or drug use). However shortly after the label was taken over by Steve Reddy who, by the mid 90's, decided to stay true to the label's roots by signing various hardcore punk bands such as [mp3com-artist]Ten Yard Fight[/mp3com-artist], [mp3com-artist]Trial[/mp3com-artist] and [mp3com-artist]Bane[/mp3com-artist] (still active and on Equal Vision today). The label also worked with bands who went onto relative mainstream acclaim, such as New Jersey emo band Saves The Day. Moving into the 00's, Equal Vision embraced a wide variety of acts - however almost all their acts have had their roots firmly placed in hardcore, punk and their subgenres. Say Anything are perhaps one of the more well known of the current roster, with frontman Max Bemis winning over fans worldwide with his forthright and provocative lyrics. The kind people at the label have given us three tracks to give away. Find out about them below and make sure to grab your free download for each. [mp3com-artist]Eisley[/mp3com-artist] - The Valley Melodic quintet Eisley definitely belong on the softer side of Equal Vision's heart, as this title track from their 2011 album shows. However with a penchant for somewhat awkward but intriguing chord progressions, the Texan group are keen to keep listeners on their toes. The strings and layered vocal harmonies give this track a calm yet majestic feel which would appeal to fans of artists as far apart as Regina Spektor and more Equal Vision-friendly acts like Circa Survive. Click HERE for a free download. [mp3com-artist]We Came As Romans[/mp3com-artist] - Mis // Understanding A change of pace and mood entirely comes in the form of this track from We Came As Romans. The dual vocal attack of David Stephens and Kyle Pavone give an edge to this metalcore sextet who released their second album Understanding What We've Grown To Be through Equal Vision in September last year. The chugging polyrhythmic grooves in the verses and epic choruses work as the perfect backdrop to the band's earnest lyrical approach to the struggles of life and growing up. Click HERE for a free download. [mp3com-artist]This Time Next Year[/mp3com-artist] - Drop Out Of Life A change in mood again comes from This Time Next Year. The pop-punk band are able to boast New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert as the producer for their latest album Drop Out Of Life, an album that showcases that anthemic sound that is unmistakably Californian. Having toured with pop-punk's elite (Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong, The Wonder Years etc) the stage is set for This Time Next Year to step up and bring their feel-good music to the masses. Click HERE for a free download. Click HERE to see more label profiles and more free downloads on and click HERE to find out more about Equal Vision Records and their releases on

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