Touchable Sound: A Collection of 7-Inch Records From the USA
Edited by Brian RoettingerMike TreffDiego Hadis
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., Dec. 10, 2010
Touchable Sound: A Collection of 7-Inch Records From the USAedited by Brian Roettinger, Mike Treff, Diego Hadis
Soundscreen Design, 412 pp., $40 (paper)
This tactile, reverent collection is a Bible of punk rock's oft-forgotten layer. Part graphic design boner, part historic punk trail of tears, the 400-page map is divided by region, starting in Southern California and ending in the Northeast. Label origin stories and first-person testimonials are interspersed throughout well-designed pages of 7-inch covers from the last two decades. The way the various components are put together is piecemeal, but that's no doubt supposed to fuel its zine feel, which has never fallen out of vogue. Ultimately, the focus is on the visual appeal of the 7-inch, from known quantities like Melvins to obscurities like Marshmallow Coast, which proves the ritual of the music obsessive is alive and well and makes this collection a top-shelf find. That's essentially what this is – a hagiography with the Xeroxed and stapled feel of scenes these vinyl slabs emerged from.