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 taking a look at ‘Strange Words And Weird Wars’, the latest LP from Ladyton’s Helen Marnie released through Disco Pinata records.
Taking time away from main project Ladytron, Marnie’s second solo long player is a collection of brisk, strident electropop. It’s an upbeat collection that pushes a sense of triumphant energy and vibrancy to the forefront. There’s a definite slant towards the populist here – a surging chorus is never more than a few bars away – but there’s much to dig into for those disposed to do so.
Playback is great throughout on this pressing, with a quiet soundscape uninterrupted by surface noise and with a quiet noise floor. Our copy is also clean from new – free of handling marks from the factory. The record is roughly midweight; unfortunately our copy has a fairly noticeable edge warp. Fortunately this doesn’t affect play; the record still tracks as it should and sound quality doesn’t take a noticeable hit – we didn’t pick up on any obvious wow and flutter, either. Sonically the album is sharp, focused and clear. It’s definitely a very electronic palette used on the album, but there’s an certain charm to that and the pressing backs up the music well.
Presentation is kept simple here, but what’s done is done well. The sleeve is non-gatefold and printed on midweight card but it feels decently solid and the spine is clear and easy to read. Layout is simple with a bold tracklisting on the back cover but it’s nicely executed and the inclusion of a nicely printed lyric insert is a welcome one. The record also comes housed in a nice quality polylined inner sleeve, so that’s a definite bonus.
Although our copy did suffer from a small warp, playback is clear and clean, with the album’s sonics resounding well. Presentation isn’t fancy but it meets expectations given the album’s price point and all things considered, this is certainly a good way to hear the album.