I have to agree that Ranaldo's previous effort is, to my ears at least, the more satisfying collection. But I am surprised to hear that the vinyl pressing the reviewer has is substandard. Mine certainly isn't: It's around 160-180 grams, well pressed and without distortion, just what you'd expect from Matador.
I have a feeling that this album would sound better if Tim Luntzel were to use roundwound strings on his Fender P-bass. I have been using a combination of Thomastik strings on both a P-bass and J-bass. They work beautifully on the jazz bass, but tend to produce the slightly ploddy sound with the precision bass that is evident in the bass end on this record (I only find this problem when recording and mixing, not when playing where these strings sound great). This is certainly not a negative review of Luntzel's bass playing, far from it, but one feels that there should be more punch and power from this record.
However, it's early days from Lee Ranaldo and the Dust. It is evident that a lot of work has gone into this record and I feel that it's worth more than the two stars allocated. It will be interesting to see how things develop and I wish them all the best.