Gold Standard Laboratories–the indie label the helped launch the careers of The Rapture, !!!, and The Mars Volta, and served as one of the major players of the post-hardcore scene in the '90s–has called it quits. GSL was founded by Sonny Kay (frontman of the bands Angel Hair, The VSS, and Year Future) in Boulder, Colorado in 1993, before being moved to California. In recent years, Kay took The Mars Volta's Omar Rodriguez-Lopez on as a partner–but they issued a statement today saying, "We've experienced the onset of factors that have seriously limited our ability to maintain what we feel is the essence of the label; the experimental attitude and artistic freewheeling of times past are simply no longer sustainable. Rather than compromise our goals and beliefs, or allow our course to be charted by financial constraint and an industry in flux, we've decided the time has come for GSL to cease releasing new music, and to close this chapter of our story." Besides the aforementioned bands, GSL also released music by Melt-Banana, The Locust, The Faint, Out Hud, GoGoGo Airheart, and many more, and the label's back catalogue will likely remain in print for the near future.
That's the hard news, here's the soft: Kay had a huge influence on many, many folks over the past 14 years, and was a model of how to support and release music in an increasingly popularized scene without turning into some industry fuckwad. As a show promoter and a band member in Colorado in the early '90s, he was a fair, friendly, and energizing presence. Okay, an inspiration. GSL, you'll be missed.