Vinyl Corner : Jason Loewenstein ‘Spooky Action’

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. This time we’re assessing Jason Loewenstein’s recently released solo album ‘Spooky Action’.

The Music:

Although best known as a key member of indie rock legends Sebadoh, ‘Spooky Action’ finds Jason Loewenstein going solo for the first time in years; the album marks Loewenstein’s first solo record since 2002’s ‘At Sixes And Sevens’. This latest effort is a long time coming then, but it’s worth the not inconsiderable wait. An album of taut scuzz-pop riffs and frenetic jam-outs, it is unerring in its pursuit of tight licks and off-kilter excellence. It’s a record that manages to be immediately likeable whilst still retaining a good sense of longevity – and those with a taste for charmingly odd, fuzz-drenched indie rock are likely to get much from it.

The Pressing:

As with all Joyful Noise releases, there are a few variants available of ‘Spooky Action’. We’re looking at the bone white pressing here – and it’s excellent. We’ve really got no complaints; sound quality is excellent and both Loewenstein’s vocals and the clear, cutting guitar shine through with style on this pressing. The noise floor is inaudible on our copy and there’s not a single stray crackle at any point throughout playback. Couple that with a nice looking shade of white along with a flat, sturdy pressing that tracks nicely and all-in-all you’ve got a very appealing pressing.

The Packaging:

Packaging is fairly simple but it is well executed, and presentation is understated but attractive. The album comes housed in a non gatefold sleeve – it’s printed on fairly lightweight card but it’s still sturdy enough – and print quality is sharp and the amusing album art looks great. Font is fairly small on the spine but isn’t too hard to spot, mostly thanks to the monochromatic colour scheme.  A big plus is the inclusion of a good quality polylined inner sleeve and a download code, both of which are welcome additions.

Final Thoughts:

A great release throughout, ‘Spooky Action’ is an excellent, immediate collection of scuzz-pop gems. The Joyful Noise vinyl pressing likewise shines, with a very quiet noise floor and high quality control that leads to an easy, enjoyable listening experience. The presentation and packaging is comparatively humble but what it does, it does well and there’re certainly no complaints from us. All things considered, this is an fantasic release and definitely the best way to hear the album.