Vinyl Corner is a feature where we take a look at vinyl pressings of various albums and weigh them up to see just how good they sound, how well they’re pressed and what sort of packaging to expect – as well as giving a brief overview of the music itself.
Desert Mountain Tribe trade in the kind of urgent, reverb-heavy, psych-rock (of sorts) that has proven so popular throughout the 2010s. It is high energy stuff with plenty of chorus (both of the effect pedal and songwriting varieties) and strident tempos; it’s certainly music designed with the primary drive of getting people moving. It’s the band’s second album, and the follow-up to their 2016 self titled debut.
This is a good quality pressing here. Cut on heavy-duty black vinyl, there’s certainly no accusing this release of skimping on the wax as the disc practically weighs a tonne. Such heavyweight vinyl can, if not pressed with due care, have a heightened likelihood of appearing warped straight out of the shrinkwrap. While we did find that our copy had a very slight wobble whilst spinning, it was not significantly noticeable and certainly didn’t cause any tracking or playback issues. Sound is actually really quite impressive here, with clean play across both sides. There’s a light smattering of minimal surface noise here and there, but certainly nothing unreasonable or intrusive and our copy was free of pops or clicks and also boasted a very quiet noise floor. Fidelity remained great throughout and, overall, this is actually a very solid pressing.
Although not extravagant, the packaging and presentation here is reasonable enough and meets expectations. The sleeve is non-gatefold but does boast quite a pleasing textured effect and print quality is also good throughout, with nice, bright colours and good definition. The font on the spine is a tad small, so locating it on a busy shelf might take a little longer than usual, but this is a minor qualm on what is generally a well presented release. There is a fairly large barcode printed on the back cover, which is something of a shame as it does mar the generally attractive aesthetic of the sleeve somewhat but, again, this is far from a deal-breaker. The record comes in a heavy-gauge paper print inner sleeve which is a really nice inclusion from a presentation standpoint and it rounds off the album’s visuals nicely. As a functioning inner sleeve, though, it’s less preferable and we found it did have a tendency to stick to the record during removal. However we were able to remove it without causing surface marks after some cautious easing. While we would recommend storing it in a polylined inner sleeve for general use, we’ve certainly seen far worse inners than this. A download is also included.
This is a solid release throughout with an enjoyable, good quality pressing of this solid slab of latter-day psych rock. Presentation is of likewise quality and those with a taste for modern psych-rock groups such as Broncho, Uncle Acid and even Tame Impala could do far worse than to give this effort a look.