For three decades Vinal Edge Records has been a favorite of Houston metal and indie rock fans. In October the store turns 35 years old. It spent nearly 27 years on Houston’s north side, nestled in a strip center off Veterans Memorial Drive, a far car ride for most Inner Loop music heads. It was common to hear collectors plan carpools out to the location, saving a Saturday or Sunday to rummage through boxes upon boxes of vinyl that owner Chuck Roast and his employees hadn’t yet priced. There were always finds to be found and vinyl gold to be mined in those boxes. Roast boasts, to this day, one of the most varied inventories in the Houston area.
The store moved into the Heights in 2012, opening up on 19th Street and adding a splash of punk rock culture to an area lined with boutiques and antique shops. “We used to be a “destination” store. We moved closer to the bulk of our existing clientele, and the street opened us up to crucial 'walk-in' customers. The walk-ins tend to buy more, for lack of a better word, normal music,” Roast says. Now in business for over 30 years, Roast says the whole thing began in 1985, an outgrowth of him DJing the infamous “Funhouse” radio shows on KPFT-FM, beaming punk rock and hardcore onto the airwaves.
Roast says that the early focus of Vinal Edge was always underground music and he has always gone the extra mile to chase down records from all over the world. Vinal Edge has a robust online and mail order following too for out-of-town collectors. They were one of the first stores of its kind to sell records on the web. Roast is excited for what the next decades have in store for Vinal Edge. They’ve settled into the Heights ecosystem and can’t imagine ever leaving.