Rise Records has become a cool, underground, indie brand over the past several years. So when we chatted with Rise founder and proprietor Craig Ericson, we had to ask him the tough question: Which releases are your favorites and why? Sure, it's like asking a parent to pick a favorite kid, but hey, when you run the show, you can show nepotism of sorts.

Ericson tagged two very key releases as his faves, and with good reason. "The Devil Wears Prada's Plagues really put Rise on the map. It sold a lot and really helped my label grow. They are great guys, too. TDWP is a very low maintenance band," Ericson told Noisecreep. His other fave is Dance Gavin Dance's Downtown Battle Mountain since "this record is probably my favorite musically, because it's so all over the place. It's the album that really let DGD show their musical abilities. And it exposed Jonny Craig and how talented he truly is. The album is just epic. I love it to death."

Ericson deems Orange Island's The Morning After EP as the one Rise release that should have been more noticed, but it was unfortunately slept on as it faded into obscurity. "They actually broke up right when it came out so that didn't help things," Ericson said. "But this EP is so damn good. Song two, 'Pyretic Eyes,' is probably my favorite song ever. Matt Squire produced the album, too. I'm stoked Matt did some work for Rise before he got all big and famous [laughs]. Everyone reading this should check this album out!" Those sound like marching orders, dear readers.

Ericson also said he does have a formula for deciding what music to put out under the Rise umbrella, saying, "I look for hardworking bands that can tour all year long. They need to be willing to drop everything at home, be poor for a while and work their asses off. Since our label caters to the all-ages crowd, we like our bands to relate to that age group."