Eric Browning is a hardcore/metal fan who has dabbled in selling music online for the past two decades. He spent the past eight years developing this hobby, with vinyl becoming his main medium. He built an inventory of records before the “acquired disdain of corporate life and two years of lockdowns” convinced him to take the steps to open Doomed Records this past April.
“Honestly, I had used the term ‘doomed’ to describe my feelings on my future in corporate sales,” shared Browning. “So it kind of morphed since it fit really well with the large segment of my inventory.”
The small record store shares an entrance with Lucy Juicy, a vegan eatery and smoothie shop. Browning sells all genres of music in vinyl, CD and tape formats, an assortment of band merchandise and record care products. His goals are: to build new and used inventory that turns Doomed Records into a ‘great browsing experience’ to become a musical ambassador, introducing new music to intrigued folks; and to be an important asset to the local music community.
“There’s an element of discovery to shopping for records, and having stuff outside the mainstream helps drive that,” Browning says. “Most of my favorite discoveries are done by ‘if I like x band, who else should I check out’ type searches. I want to help eliminate the randomness of such searches and put those titles in front of folks that want to see them.”
Browning wants his inventory selection to be what sets Doomed Records apart from all the other local record shops. His focus is extreme metal but he has a growing selection of other genres. He has a small portion posted online to give people an idea of what to expect while not completely ruining any surprises. He works with a lot of record labels to stock records that can only be found online, including imports.
“We all serve a purpose,” says when discussing his peer record store owners. “I think we all complement each other. What we have in common is the small overlapping area on a Venn diagram; what we each do that is unique is the larger more important area and remains on the outside.”
Browning grew up on the other side of Warwick and didn’t visit Pawtuxet Village until he was an adult, where he would meet up with his father at what is now Beans and Buns. He felt at home in the family-friendly area, which features a variety of retail stores, bars, restaurants and parks, and felt it would be a great location to open his shop.
“People seem really thrilled to have a record store in the village,” Browning says when discussing the positive response he’s received thus far. “I get everything from high school students after school to folks visiting for the summer. I’m extremely excited for what the summer holds.”
Doomed Records is hoping to promote as many local bands as possible. There is a wall full of New England bands and Browning is hoping to expand that selection.
“That’s what I’d call a focus area,” Browning says. “I’ve had a few local labels, artists and bands get their stuff in my store. I’ll continue to try to find ways to be a benefit to the music community. I spent a lot of years running around shows in PVD, so the possibility of becoming part of that for others feels extremely fulfilling.”
Doomed Records is located at 2180 Broad St in Cranston. Go to doomedrecordsri.com/blog for more information.