File this under “weirdest guitar innovations of the modern age”: Brother O Brother, a garage rock outfit from Indianapolis, have announced their new album Skin Walker will be released as a limited-edition vinyl, which will also double as a guitar pedal.
Yes, that’s right: the album itself will literally be an effects pedal.
Confused? So were we, but the reality is quite simple, no matter how baffling the actual premise is. Skin Walker will be released as a pair of extra-thick vinyl LPs, which have been bolstered in size to accommodate the necessary electronics of an effects pedal within its interior.
The first vinyl will be an overdrive/boost pedal with a channel-switching control toggle, while the other will be a delay pedal with four different delay modes. Controls for each effects’ parameters will be located on the center label.
If you’re still struggling to wrap your head around how these work, check out the demo video above, which puts the admittedly pretty-impressive tones of the boost and delay vinyl… err, pedal thing… on display.
They also serve their primary function as vinyl LPs, so long as your record player is fitted with an adjustable Vertical Tracking Angle to accommodate the unusual thickness.
Now, we imagine these would be an absolute nightmare to fit onto a conventional pedalboard, which, at the best of times, is pressed for space anyway without the presence of a mammoth 12” circular device. Plus, having to disconnect it every time you want to listen to the album sounds quite cumbersome.
We also don't recommend you try to use it while playing along with the album. That's just asking for all sorts of cable chaos.
As a novelty item, though – and an innovation that opens up a world of not entirely practical possibilities – it’s a very nifty creation indeed.
The game-changing vinyl pedals are the result of a collaboration between A.D.D. Pedals and Romanus Records, the latter of whom has something of a reputation when it comes to reinventing the world of vinyl.
Some of its previous works include an LP filled with razor blades and gunpowder, one embedded with LEDs and even a limited liquid-filled snowglobe variant of the Scrooged soundtrack.
However, it’s its latest offering that has got us wondering about the technology’s applications. How about John Mayer’s Sob Rock as a chorus pedal? Or Ozzy Osbourne’s Patient Number 9 as a distortion pedal?
Alas, the Skin Walker vinyl pedals will be limited to a mere 35 units, and will go on sale this Saturday (September 17) at 3pm EST. It will also be available in a number of non-pedal vinyl formats, too, including tri-color, splatter and sand-filled glow in the dark.
For those of you keen on picking up the world’s first-ever vinyl pedal, subscribers to the Romanus Records YouTube channel will have a chance to gain early access on Friday.
Keep your eyes peeled on Romanus Records for updates.