Blackout! Records was started in 1988 by Bill Wilson and Jim Gibson as an outlet for their friends' bands in the NYC area hardcore scene. The first release, a 1989 compilation entitled "New York Hardcore: Where The Wild Things Are..." featured local heroes Breakdown and Raw Deal, as well as Sheer Terror, Outburst, Gorilla Biscuits, Maximum Penalty, NBSH, Uppercut and Life's Blood. To both Gibson and Wilson's surprise- the record struck a nerve and did very well, eventually becoming one of the most recognized comps in NYHC history. Jim eventually took his share of the spoils and created Noiseville Records, which collaborate on future pressings of WWTA, as well as the Breakdown '87 Demo 7".
Over the course of the 90's Blackout! continued to release hardcore, punk, and NYC bands including Outburst, Sheer Terror, Crawlpappy, Uppercut, The Business, Eye For An Eye, The Icemen, American Standard, God Is My Co-Pilot, and The Goops. In 1992, Wilson created a sub-imprint, Engine Records, which released recordings ranging from Deadguy and The New Bomb Turks, to Guided By Voices. In 1996, the label released it's most commercially successful record, the debut album from H2O. The label rounded out the decade with releases from Fur, The Kowalskis, Killing Time, Kill Your Idols, Powerhouse, Redemption 87, and Violent Society.
The new century started strong, with a slew of releases including Ensign, Crime In Stereo, The Banner, Commercials, Kill Your Idols, and The Fire Still Burns. In 2004 the label was put on ice, releasing only catalog through digital platforms. The final project for Blackout! was the Sheer Terror "Beaten By The Fists Of God" Live DVD, produced and edited by Wilson, licensed to Thorp records and released in 2005.
In 2016 the label re-emerged from hibernation, crowdfunding the ultimate Sheer Terror "Bulldog Box" five LP box set, featuring redone artwork, unreleased tracks, a full MC style back patch, and other collectibles. It was followed in 2019 by the release of the Outburst "Hot Shit Attitude" covers comp, and the upcoming vinyl repress of Outburst "Miles To Go" in 2020 (delayed by the Covid 19 pandemic.)
Upcoming releases for the label include Killing Time "The Method" on gatefold LP, and Kill Your Idols' "The Beginning..." 3 record set.