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Synonymous with drawing emo, post-hardcore, and pop-punk rising talent to the surface for their time on the mainstream radar, Rise Records’ history books trail back to Nevada City, California in 1991. What began as a pre-college project for talent-spotter Craig Ericson would later become a household name in their field, fostering the rise of bands on either end of the musical spectrum, from Attack Attack! to Spiritbox.
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In celebration of the label’s decades-long time in the spotlight, we’ve curated a collection of Rise Records’ ultimate signings, whether short-lived or enduring the artist’s entire career on the scene.
Iwrestledabearonce’s loss became Spiritbox’s gain as husband and wife duo Courtney LaPlante and Mike Stringer cut loose in search of their own creative paths. Forged in 2016, it would take the Canadian outfit five years to pursue full-length domination with Rise Records at the helm for their debut, Eternal Blue, in 2021. Not content with setting the metal world alight with the strongest debut the scene has witnessed in years, Spiritbox’s genre-busting trajectory shows no signs of waning as they dominate live stages with an approach that refuses to be placed into any box.
While we never expected haunting acoustics and sinister synths to bleed into AFI over from vocalist Davey Havok’s side project Blaqk Audio, their first release via Rise has proved that even a cloak of new-wave mystery suits the emo landmark outfit. Eleven albums into their trendsetting career, 2021’s Bodies challenged fans’ expectations of the band that once soundtracked everybody’s emo phase as they journeyed through post-punk inflections akin to Gary Numan. After all, every emo has to grow up eventually… don’t they?
Crown the Empire
If you find the winning formula, stick with it. Rise mainstays Crown the Empire’s fateful singing to the label in 2012 set their course for success with their debut outing, The Fallout. Five records in, the four-piece have settled neatly into the Rise fold while exploring the boundaries of their creativity, often escaping the confines of their theatrical, larger-than-life metalcore.
While it seemed as though Mayday Parade would belong to Fearless Records forever, 2018’s Sunnyland proved they didn’t need to change their signature sound to jump ships to Rise. Remaining true to their singalong roots, each emotionally charged lyric and soaring guitar sounds as typically Mayday Parade as ever. 2021’s What It Means To Fall Apart cemented their determination to polish their gut-wrenching pop-punk trademark for a modern audience that never grew out of their emo phases.
The Early November
Joining the Rise Records fold in 2012 for their third album, In Currents, alternative-rock outfit the Early November brought their contemplative cries and emo inflections to the table and received a warm welcome. Three years later, Imbue expressed overflowing rage alongside introspective anguish, as if these opposite ends of the spectrum come as an inseparable pair. Although 2019’s Lilac called time on their relationship with the label, there’s no mistaking their great output during their tenure.
Sleeping With Sirens
A world without “If You Can’t Hang” isn’t a world we want to know. Without the backing of Rise, we may never have heard Kellin Quinn’s inimitable high pitch or Jack Fowler’s screaming leading lines. Signing to the label in late 2009 to release their debut LP, With Ears to See and Eyes to Hear, the Orlando scene-setters drove their flag into the ground and quickly set the pace for their earworm-inducing future. Sleeping With Sirens’ most memorable eras continued under Rise, including follow-ups Let’s Cheers To This and Feel, establishing the label as a force to be reckoned with across the post-hardcore landscape.
Angels & Airwaves
Just when you thought Angels & Airwaves was a mere love affair of a side project for Tom DeLonge, 2021’s Lifeforms revived the conspiracy for their sixth full-length dive into outer space. Signing to Rise and returning to their post-punk origins, Lifeforms is the sound of the San Diego unit inching as close to the borderline with blink-182’s trademark sound as they can while exploring endless topics in their lyricism. From diving into the depths of gripping conspiracy theories and political views to dissecting DeLonge’s emotions from his divorce two years prior, their future within the Rise fold is bright and appropriately extraterrestrial.
The TikTok generation veers away from label signings in favor of autonomous promotion and self-governance. However, Mothica need not fear being held down by the label she’s chosen to channel her electrifying, genre-sweeping talent. Refusing to be pigeonholed into pop, rock, or emo, the rising star signed to Rise for her sophomore album, Nocturnal. It’s an all-encompassing journey through her musical inspirations, as well as a step-by-step guide to crafting a song that will stick with listeners for days on end.
Chicago’s own pop-punk heartbreakers Knuckle Puck took a leaf from their genre’s history books by releasing a staggering six EPs before taking the plunge into a full-length debut. As a result, Copacetic arrived in 2015 at the perfect time for a band approaching musical and lyrical maturity as its members reached their 20s. A fateful signing to Rise in 2014 just in time for this foray into full-length records paved the way for an album now considered a pop-punk landmark by many — particularly if you like gut-wrenching, genre-hopping tracks at nearly eight minutes long. The band seem to have found a comfortable spot under the Rise umbrella, having remained with the label through all three studio albums.
Vocalist Anthony Green’s words on lead single “Imposter Syndrome” tell the tale of Circa Survive’s full-length Rise debut — “Writing this either helped save me or almost killed me. I can’t figure out which yet.” 2022’s Two Dreams explored difficult emotional depths through a far more fragile tone than their previous six studio ventures. Although the process of such vulnerable writing would lead the band to call time on their 18-year history with an indefinite hiatus that same year, Two Dreams was a phenomenal swan song for the band that always forged their own path.
From First To Last
We’re not saying Throne to the Wolves was the catalyst for From First to Last’s short-lived hiatus that same year, but their 2010 release was a fitting close to what fans assumed would be the end of an era. Luckily, they couldn’t stay away for long, but the enormous production and captivating continuation of their trademark no-punches-pulled style gave listeners hope that the group had plenty more to give. While Throne to the Wolves was their first and only Rise venture, capturing the trendsetters at the top of their game was a wise move.
Man Overboard’s self-titled sophomore album in 2011 saw their signing to the label the previous year pay its dividends as they took their contagious shout-alongs on tour with New Found Glory a mere two months later. Sticking with the label for their following two releases, Heart Attack and Heavy Love, the New Jersey pop-punk crew called a hiatus in 2015 and have yet to return to the studio. Sometimes the shortest stories are the best stories, and Man Overboard’s impact remains.
PVRIS’ signing to Rise in 2014 brought the scene some much-needed, vibrant new blood. Armed with a storming debut in White Noise, the brainchild of Lynn Gunn made quite the impression. Continuing under the Rise umbrella for 2017’s All We Know of Heaven, All We Know of Hell, the outfit received numerous industry awards in recognition of their innovative approach to alternative rock and post-hardcore.
Journeying from pop punk to indie rock with a few pitstops inspired by their contemporary emo influences, Transit took the term “genre-fluid” as a challenge and passed it with flying colors. Joining the Rise family for 2011’s emo throwback Listen & Forgive, the Boston, Massachusetts outfit embraced the freedom to explore the music they loved as fans as well as musicians. Two emotionally driven ventures later, the band called time on their decade-long career, closing their chapter on a high with 2014’s alternative-leaning Joyride and leaving listeners with an even more poignant catalog in light of guitarist Tim Landers’ passing in 2019.
At the Drive-In
Seventeen years away from the studio reinvigorated At the Drive-In’s passion for their craft, signing to Rise in 2017 for a suitable punk-esque resurrection on in•ter a•li•a. In retrieving the fun elements of recording and collective experience for a band that had spent the better part of two decades apart, their fourth studio venture also tackled hard-hitting subjects in their own inimitable, no-punches-pulled manner. Although the band announced an indefinite hiatus the next year, this formidable swan song captured what At The Drive-In do best — force listeners to face hard truths in the medium of artsy post-hardcore.
In partnership with the Toronto punks’ own label Little Dipper, PUP’s first release on Rise, Morbid Stuff, was their most polished yet. Stacked with their own sardonic, self-deprecating verve, PUP explored the freedom to be as bleakly real as possible with no compromise in sight. Let’s face it: Any band that can get the EP title This Place Sucks Ass past a record label deserves a medal. 2022’s The Unravelling of PUPTheBand only furthered their mission: have fun, commence chaos, and draw in new fans along the way.
At its core, pop punk should really be chaotic, energetic, and contagious enough to ring through your mind for days. For two gloriously summer-like albums, Bouncing Souls joined the Rise family in collaboration with their personal label Chunksaah. 2012’s Comet, their ninth album, saw their singalongs mature to reflect their acquired pop-punk wisdom. That bled into 2016’s Simplicity before the outfit departed the fold at Rise, having banked two consistently true-to-form records.
Arguably the most definitive Rise outfit, Attack Attack! became synonymous with the label. Shaping the screamo subgenre around their own signature vocal style (and how to crouch while holding a guitar — we’ve all seen “Stick Stickly”), the band blasted the scene with relentless riffs and inimitable screams for three Rise-branded records before dipping at the top of their game in 2013. For a group that played such a vital part in the DNA of the label, we simply couldn’t list Rise artists without handing a trophy to the band that brought the label to prominence at the height of the emo golden age.
Polyphia’s fourth studio adventure in instrumental artistry, and their first with Rise, Remember That You Will Die, was jam-packed with unpredictable guest spots. That included Deftones’ Chino Moreno, Steve Vai, and rapper Snot to craft a well-rounded album that feels like a true experience from start to finish. Reflecting listeners’ approval, the album climbed the Billboard Top 200 to No. 33 and proved that their experimentalism, and move to Rise, paid off handsomely for the progressive set.
From an iconic appearance on the soundtrack for Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 to parting ways with almost every member in 2006, it seemed, for all intents and purposes, that the life of the Distillers had come to a close. However, as fans will know, this band don’t conform to linear expectations, and a return in 2018 came seemingly out of the blue. Signing to Rise for their first live album, 2021’s Live In Lockdown, it seemed even COVID-19 couldn’t keep the LA punks away from the studio after nearly 20 years, dragging the likes of “Sick of It All” and “City of Angels” into the 2020s. Whether this signals a long-term future for Brody Dalle’s anarchic brainchild remains to be seen but is highly anticipated.