1. The Richard Houghton Cosmic Cutter Award

Richard has really stepped into an amazing spot in the custom vinyl world with his holographic cuttings and etchings. We used him earlier this year, saw a glory or death release, and I know more is cooking in the background along with his own amazing tunes. Super good guy to boot, check out some of his work below.

  1. Favorite Wax Mage

Picking one Waxmage Records custom is difficult. Heath runs an entire school I just made up called the “Waxmage School For the Vinyl Blessed” where Heath teaches, perfects, and allows innovation in the school. All that to say, Heath is probably/maybe/most likely the most innovative press operator in the world? I’ll say yes, and with that check out this piece which I believe is from 2022 based on research. My favorite piece has to go to the Pizza variant of this made for Wax Vessel & the band Saw Tooth Mega Grin.

Honorable mention: any triple X variant

  1. Favorite Third Man Innovation

Again, they kind of get their own category. In many ways they help set the bar early with a lot of this wacky vinyl innovation and what not. The Sleep “Dopesmoker” weed filled piece is no different. All time iconic album, iconic wax, iconic company. It’s got it all, also if you have one you want to sell or trade me please bark in my direction.

  1. Favorite Zoetrope

There have been many converts to the Zoetrope life, no one in modern times seems to have perfected the art more than Drewtetz (see here)  With that in mind what was our favorite we saw for the year? Probably this bowie piece, I love David Bowie and I’m helpless

Honorable Mention: Blood Records Muse Zoetrope, they do a ton of them, they all rule.

  1. Favorite Packagingssszzz of the year :

One leads to another, but one pick was too little.  This first pick is a late to the end of the year release but this Black Honey “A Fistful Of Peaches” dart board sleeve and dart board picture disc is TOO SLICK. The thought and layout here is amazing, via again the amazing Blood Records. See here:

Numba 2. Flint Glass – Azathoth via Sealt

The man behind Sealt honestly has some of the best packaging with every release. His wood cutting skills are unreal and they are used to make some of the most creative and beautiful packages in the world. Huge fans here in Romanus land

  1. Favorite Video Game Vinyl:

Oh man, see the thing is a lot of the coolest video game wax and packaging you will see out there are bootlegs. Made lovingly by collectors and archivist. It’s a very if you know you know world, its hard to explain, hard to quantify. But, there are also some amazing non off the vinyl grid release as well! All that to say our favorite has to go to Tekken 7 via laced audio. Love the artwork, layout, & more. We play a lot of Tekken here at Romanus. Save us.


  1. Favorite Local To Us (Indianapolis) release of 2022 : Cairo Jag – NEW WINDS

Man, this band just hits all the right notes. It feels like a new age psychier version of MC5. If they dropped MC5 in the 2020’s we think they might sound something like this. That’s a massive compliment.

  1. Favorite Romanus Fest Act – Pat & The Pissers

This was one of those sets we had heard about, the buzz around Indy for a local band was real, real in a way it hasn’t felt in a minute for a noisy band. It delivered easily our favorite set of Romanus Fest 2022. It was the unhinged socio-political jammer of our dreams. More on that band in 2022! Check out their newest LP soil & slightly older EP America’s Dream

  1. Favorite Liquid Filled Record

We aren’t the only people doing these things around here. One name in our view is above the rest. Good friend Matt Ortt (Th3 Barncat) & his custom manufacturing Plastikatdeviations. This whole liquid filled space is still pretty unknown in the sense of what will happen to some of these things in 10-20 years. Matt made some huge innovative leaps in 2021 and they bled in 2022 seamlessly. I don’t even know what this is and I want it.

  1. Favorite Romanus Records Release: Lung – Let It Be Gone

We have been huge fans, friends, and more of LUNG for a minute. It meant a ton to us to get to partner with such hard working legends this year and put out their new LP. They went on a MASSIVE tour run with Mac Sabbath to end the year out. The album is so good, distorted cello and drums for your entire family

Listen Here:

  1. Favorite Romanus Custom VINYL MFG Piece

This side of our biz EXPLODED this year. So what was our favorite piece we made this year? Gotta go with the Snowglobe Filled “Scrooged” Soundtrack from the iconic Danny Elfman. Enjoy The Ride Records has got their finger on the pulse of something. Whatever it is we like it, and we are glad they point it our way from time to time.

  1. Biggest Romanus Vinyl Innovation

No doubt it was the Brother O Brother “Skin Walker” Guitar Pedal LP. We made this in conjunction with our friends here at A.D.D. Pedals. This was a idea that we assumed we could do after some manufacturing innovations in the early part of 2022. But around August it was go time, we buckled down for a few weeks, worked out the kinks and presto. I shot a video with local videographer Fred Miller in Indy on Monday, on Tuesday Classic Rock Magazine debuted the news, and then all DIY internet hell broke loose. The pedal record was covered by NME, Guitar World, ultimate guitar, Loudwire, aggregated by Apple & More. Felt good to get a big DIY innovation win.

  1. Other things we liked

Jeff The Brotherhood & Diarrhea Planet Playing 4 sold out nights to close out the current iteration of the historic Exit Inn in Nashville. Driving 33 hours in 3 days to deliver Slime Language to Boston, patient customers, inspiring labels, Pacers defying expectations, William Paine being a all time pal and custom DEV friend in the background, whatever Wax Vessel is planning from a beauty standpoint, becoming a Slipknot fan, VOLK continuing to ascend, King GIzzard & The Lizard Wizard changing vinyl forever with the Gizzverse, hosting a once a month radio show, Joshua Powell & Adam Shuntich keeping this Romanus thing sane, WFYI, Dave Linqduist, flattering project requests that didnt work out from people I love (happy to just be asked), costochondritis reddit, Jake Huber, run on sentences, family, touring. Love you all. Onto 2023