"We recorded the whole thing straight to tape," says Vinyl Radio front man Matt Binder. "This is how the Beatles and the Stones did it."
Two years ago, however, two-inch studio recording tape was not being manufactured.
"There was a bit of a scare," says Mike Kamoo, who produced and recorded Vinyl Radio's new CD at his Earthling Studios in Santee. "Tape was out of production for about six months. I had about 25 reels stockpiled." Though Earthling is equipped to record digitally, Kamoo says, "In the last three years I seem to get a lot of bands who want to record analog. It's a dirtier, rougher, rawer sound."
Other local bands who have recently recorded on tape: the Heartaches, Society, the Spots, Lady Dottie and the Diamonds, Silver Sunshine, Alta Voz, the Glossines, Rookie Card, and Kamoo's band, the Stereotypes.
"Digital sounds glossy and overproduced and really shiny," says Vinyl Radio guitarist Keith Hilton. "The Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream had, like, over 100 guitar tracks. It's a colossal disappointment when you see them live and you don't see a hundred guitars....
"When digital came out, it made things a lot more efficient; it made it super easy to overdub and fix every little thing. Every time you rerecord over a tape, the quality diminishes a little; it gives you more of a sense of urgency. With digital you can go back a thousand times. [Rocket From the Crypt singer/producer] John Reis has a three-take rule; he says it should never take more than three takes to do a song. I subscribe to that."
According to Kamoo, local studios such as Pineapple, Big Fish, and Signature Sound offer analog recording facilities.
Vinyl Radio appears at the Casbah on Tuesday for their CD-release party.