Guitars are one thing. Ever since the rise of the electric guitar in popular music, the instruments themselves have always captured the collective imagination of the public. Anyone who grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, for example, probably knows Jimmy Page’s double-neck that he used almost exclusively for ‘Stairway to Heaven.’
Effects pedals, however, tend to only maintain traction with musicians themselves, partly because they’re not meant to be seen by the audience; instead, they contribute to the player’s persona, their seemingly endless bag of tricks for creating baffling new sounds.
But for anyone who knows a thing or two about pedals, this is an exciting time. We’re well past the pedal boom of the mid-2000s, but there continue to be some insanely inventive ideas among the companies who have dedicated themselves to pushing the figurative envelope.
Earthquaker Devices works out of Akron, Ohio, hand-wiring some of the wildest pedals known to man, many of them hiding synths inside their colorful cases.
Ultimately, the less we say about them, the better. Instead, take a listen. You want cascading, crazy reverb? Avalanche Run for you. An unwieldy digital brick-breaker? Data Corrupter. Fuzz that’s ugly in the best possible way? Hoof.
And yes, they will break the bank. But mostly it’s just inspiring to see that someone out there is interested in finding new sounds in the digital era.