Vinyl Pressing Review

Laura K. Balke / The Dead Records

I Can Only Run / Winter Clothes

Reviewed by Rob Peoni on 07.09.2013

Recorded in January 2013 at a house in Indianapolis, this split 7" is the debut release from upstart DIY imprint Usonian Recording Division. The release features two Indiana artists: female singer-songwriter, Laura K. Balke and Fort Wayne alternative rockers, The Dead Records.

Ratings are based on a scale from 0-10.

Overall Sound:


The brash, guitar-driven sounds of The Dead Records pair well with the energetic, confident songwriting of Laura K. Balke on this release. The production is crisp, particularly for a home recording. The vocals are up front and the guitars are powerful. It packs plenty of volume (no need to crank up the stereo on this pressing.) The talents of Balke's multidimensional percussionist, Zachary Walter Jetter, shine on "I Can Only Run."

Pressing Quality:


Nice pressing overall. There was some very minor warping on my copy. The vinyl could be a bit thicker, but the sound is great. The hand-screened jacket is a beautiful addition. No weaving whatsoever. The volume remains consistent throughout the album's two tracks. The paper sleeve features a digital download and additional information on bandmembers.

Vinyl Noise:


No noticeable static or popping throughout the release. No skipping. There is a slight crackle of static as the needle drops in, but it fades relatively quickly.

Overall Artwork:


The cover art features a hand-screened design by Casey Roberts. It's a minimalist, nature-inspired design with a two-tone (brown and white) color scheme. The simple, stamp design of the record itself harkens back to the 45's our parents grew up on.

Overall Extras:


The digital download includes two bonus tracks (one from each artist.) The hand-screened cover art is a nice added bonus that gives the release a personal feel. The additional artist information on the paper sleeve is also a welcome inclusion.

Reviewed By:
Rob Peoni

I'm a longtime music junkie who began collecting vinyl around three years ago. I have around 300 titles that span a broad variety of genres. I tend to gravitate toward...

Rob has reviewed 48 other Records.


Total Score

: 4.25



Label: Usonian Recording Division
Release Year: 2013
Purchase Price: 5.00
Pressing Company: unknown
Format: 7 inch vinyl
# of Records: 1
Pressing Weight: unknown
Color: black
Gatefold: No
Digital: Yes
Inner Sleeves:


Review Links:
Division St. Harmony
Purchase Links:

Post a Comment

Name: Leave us a comment.

URL is optional. Including one will link your name to the posted URL.

HTML formating is not supported.

The author of this review must approve your comment before it will become visible.