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Thick Records

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Thick Records is a Chicago-based independent record label formed in 1994 by Detroit native Zak Einstein[1]. Early label releases include influential albums from Chicago ska-punkers The Blue Meanies[2], Alton, IL's Judge Nothing, and the Omaha-based Commander Venus, whose members included Conor Oberst, Tim Kasher, Matt Bowen and Todd Baechle. THICK quickly became a staple of the Chicago punk scene when Blue Meanies singer Billy Spunke joined Einstein at the label's helm, and signed a slew of Chicago artists including The Tossers, The Arrivals, and The Methadones.

Thick is well known for releasing picture disc vinyl including records from Alkaline Trio, At The Drive-in, ALL, and Citizen Fish, and for its compilation records documenting the Chicago independent music scene, that include tracks from Rise Against, Plain White T’s, Local H, The Lawrence Arms, Pegboy and dozens more.

In 2004 Einstein moved the label to Los Angeles[3], and the last label releases came in 2007 with CDs from Elgin IL's The Brokedowns, and Arizona's Seven Storey Mountain. Thick currently operates as a catalog only label.


In the age of increasingly soulless, corporate, for-sale-to-the-highest-bidder record labels—even in the ranks of the venerated indies—Chicago's Thick Records stands out as a shining beacon of D.I.Y. integrity, a home for truly independent, original and idiosyncratic artists that, in the words of the great Johnny Rotten, "mean it, man." It is an indispensable part of the Windy City's music scene, and an invaluable treasure for the American musical underground at large" - Jim Derogatis - pop music critic, Chicago Sun Times (2004)[4]


  • The Arrivals
  • Bitchy
  • Blue Meanies
  • The Bomb
  • The Brokedowns
  • Calliope
  • Commander Venus
  • Cougars
  • Tom Daily
  • Fingers Cut Megamachine
  • Five Deadly Venoms
  • The Gadjits
  • Gasoline Fight
  • The GC5
  • The Good Mornings
  • Goldblade
  • Geezer Lake
  • Hanalei
  • Haymarket Riot
  • Horace Pinker
  • Judge Nothing
  • Lasalle
  • The Methadones
  • Model/Actress
  • New Black
  • Orange
  • Resident Genius
  • Season to Risk
  • Seven Storey Mountain
  • Shanna Kiel & Black Fur
  • Sullen
  • T. Duggins
  • The Tossers
  • Trenchmouth
  • Truly
  • Vorits

Other bands with Thick Records releases[edit]

  • Alkaline Trio
  • All
  • At the Drive-In
  • Burning Airlines
  • Citizen Fish
  • Cows
  • Local H
  • Servotron

See also[edit]

  • List of record labels
  • OIL: Chicago Punk Refined


  1. Lollipop Magazine "An interview with Zak Einstein" April 1996
  2. Chicago Reader "Spot Check" 6/26/1997
  3. Chicago Reader, "Thick Disperses" article 7/15/2004
  4. Thick Records - Mean It Man - Various Artists liner notes

External links[edit]

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