Having over 200 releases behind them, Chicago label Victory Records has been one of the driving forces in independent punk and hardcore music over the past decade. One look at their roster tells you the story of their past, present, and future.
Past bands on the label include Bad Brains, Boy Sets Fire, Earth Crisis, Grade, Hatebreed, Refused, Shelter, Skarhead, and Warzone - a who's who of modern hardcore, if you will. While many have criticized Victory's current roster for not having any bite, the label still possesses one of the most defining voices in the genre, Snapcase. They also have a surprisingly strong group of ska-related bands, including Catch 22, Streetlight Manifesto, and Voodoo Glow Skulls
2001 was a defining year for Victory, with the release of Thursday's Full Collapse. A record that has since come to define modern emotional hardcore, the disc was first released to little fanfare. Over the course of 2001 and 2002, however, the record picked up steam, and as the band made the leap to major label Island Records, controversy surrounded the issue with the band questioning Victory about their business practices, something that has always been a point of contention about the label.
Victory has taken a decidedly poppier stance in recent years. Student Rick, Count The Stars, Spitalfield, The Reunion Show, Bayside, and the enormous success of Taking Back Sunday have opened up the label to thousands of kids previously blind to the label's history. This trend shows no signs of stopping with the label's most recent signings.