One thing that sometimes goes understated when it comes to the history of Providence’s music scene is its role of being a haven for noise music dating back multiple decades. The legendary warehouse Fort Thunder was at the epicenter of it all by putting on underground shows along with being a living and working space for artists until it’s closure in 2001. Another part of that community is Load Records, a label started in 1993 that features a roster of various artists who each had their own kind of weirdness coming through in their music.
With Ben McCosker and Laura Mullen at the helm, the DIY entity has gained a worldwide underground following, but sadly, on Monday night (April 10), Load Records announced on Facebook that it was ceasing business and closing up shop.
“After 24 years of Load Records its time to move on,” they tweeted. “Will be contacting bands to arrange next steps. Thanks for a great ride.”
After 24 years of Load Records its time to move on. Will be contacting bands to arrange next steps. Thanks for a great ride.
Notable releases from Load over the years are plentiful, including the U.S. vinyl release Andrew W.K.’s third album Close Calls With Brick Walls (2006), synth-punk act Six Finger Satellite’s fifth album Half Control (2009) and EP Clone Theory (1996), electro pop masters Humanbeast’s debut album Venus Ejaculates Into The Banquet (2013), and noise legends Lightning Bolt’s entire discography up to 2015’s Fantasy Empire. Load’s final release is Finished’s LP Cum Inside Me Bro (2016). The label also issued releases from Tinsel Teeth, Prurient, Noxagt, USA Is a Monster, White Mice, and countless others.
With the music industry in the middle of transitioning, crumbling and eating itself alive, maintaining an independent label must be harder than ever. Chances are the current situation played a part in Load Records shuttering after more than two decades of putting out records by uniquely talented musicians. Let this be a reminder that when you purchase music either online or from a record store, make sure to support independent music while doing so.
Via the slider, take a listen to just some of the varied sounds Load has issued over the years.