Since being formed in 1980 by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz, Epitaph Records has developed a reputation for being the go-to label for the world's must-hear punk and metal bands. So, it follows that it's still one of the most desirable places for many a young band to adopt as their musical home – including SoCal emo duo This Wild Life, who joined the label back in 2014 and have been pumping out essential pop punk sounds ever since.
On the eve of the release of Petaluma, their third album with the label, we ask the band to pick the 10 stand-out recordings from the Epitaph's back catalogue. Here's what they chose...
10. The Ghost Inside - Get What You Give (2012)
"Some hometown heroes of mine. I am a sucker for the heavy sound with positive and uplifting lyrics. These are the most unreal gym jams, not to mention they're incredible people. I have three TGI tattoos and my girlfriend has two – I am the biggest fanboy on the Earth when it comes to TGI. This album was produced by Jeremy McKinnon and Andrew Wade, and showed their first stab at melodic vocals. It changed the game for their sound and added a whole new level of dynamic, and some of their best tracks were the result. Heavy as lead, break your neck."
9. Every Time I Die - From Parts Unknown (2014)
"Truthfully I could put any of their Epitaph releases here, but I think this record edges out the rest by just a hair. They've always had some of the best riffs in the greater hardcore scene, but this album brought that to the table and more with some of Keith Buckley's best vocal performances to date. The self-proclaimed smart man’s drinking band, another band that is somehow even better live than in the studio. Their records are an experience and their shows are something else entirely."
8. letlive. - Fake History (2010)
"Some more hometown heroes of mine, Jason had been playing in the band for years before Epitaph picked them up and released this incredible album. The live experience was unlike anything I had ever seen – Jason is somehow more compelling live than he is on his records, even though they make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Muther is a track that is emotionally draining to listen to, definitely something I connected with, being raised by a single mother. Long live."
7. Set Your Goals - This Will Be The Death Of Us (2009)
"Admittedly I got into SYG pretty late in the game and had to backtrack through their discography, but this album is probably my favourite of theirs. The energy and hooks of the dual vocals were so intense, I could barely sing along in the car without having an asthma attack. The Fallen is one of my favourite pop punk tracks of all time, blistering tempo and a giant middle finger to the industry."
6. Bring Me The Horizon - Suicide Season (2008)
"Chelsea Smile was a song that really changed my taste in the sonics of what metalcore could be. Introducing electronic production into their heavy sound was such a shock to me, but years later it's still a winning formula. The album had so much attitude lyrically and that angst really connected with me at a young age. So much cussing."
5. New Found Glory - Not Without A Fight (2009)
"I'm a gigantic NFG fan and this record has a few of their absolute best songs on it. Produced by Mark Hoppus and released on my favourite label, it was destined for success and heavy rotation on my CD player. Don't Let Her Pull You Down and Listen To Your Friends are still two of their best live songs to sing along to after all these years and all these great records."
4. Parkway Drive - Horizons
"I’m still a metalcore fan after all these years, and Parkway perfected the sound early on in their career with this record. The breakdowns were enough to pique my interest, I stayed for the incredible story of their start in the touring world and explosive live performances. There will never be another band like Parkway that dominated the international metal scene in such a unique way. There's blood in the water."
3. Motion City Soundtrack - Commit This To Memory (2005)
"Synthy pop-rock at its finest. The lyrics were quirky, and the hooks were infectious. As a drummer starting off, I loved their up-tempo tracks and interesting fills. As a singer and songwriter now, I appreciate the vocal melodies and storytelling. Sad to see them go."
2. Pennywise - Pennywise (1991)
"A SoCal classic that blew up in the skating scene thanks to 411 skate videos. Anti-authority and teenage angst go hand in hand, and Pennywise encapsulated that connection. I remember seeing them at Warped Tour and the singer threw a can of Bud Light out in the crowd and it bounced off my head and drenched the dude behind me. So tight."
1. The Offspring - Smash
"I grew up in Southern California, so Epitaph Punk on the radio was a huge deal for me growing up. This was one of the first CDs I ever owned and it was so in your face and they cussed so much that I gravitated to it as a young skater."
Petaluma by This Wild Life is released on June 22 via Epitaph Records. Check out the video for single Headfirst below: