Canadian singer/songwriter Chad VanGaalen has released
several albums for Sub Pop, pursuing his fancy in melodic indie rock and
‘60s-influenced garage. Now, however, he’s up to something completely
different. Black Mold is VanGaalen’s musical MacGuffin, a plot shift that works
nicely but doesn’t ever really amount to anything.
This is not to say that this Boards of Canada and Black Moth
Super Rainbow-inspired album lacks for charm, creativity, or quirk. It’s just
that all these skittering beats, alien bleeps, synthesizer warbles, and moments
of electro chamber pop don’t feel like music that will stick in your head for
long once the album ends. But maybe that’s not the point here. Maybe this is
just an opportunity for VanGaalen to do something completely different; a Thom
Yorke Eraser, a McCartney II. In that, he has succeeded.
Standout Tracks: “Romborama,”
“Have Mercy On Us” JONAH FLICKER