Chad Vangaalen - Shrink Dust

by D R Pautsch Rating:8 Release Date:2014-04-28

The internet is ruining music. The internet is saving music. You choose; everyone has their opinion. Before the internet, you would have to read music magazines. Hopefully, they would have an accompanying CD/tape and you might get a review or taste of an artist or album you never heard of.

If that grabbed you then you could take your money to the closest record shop, hope that they had the out-of-the-mainstream album you wanted and then part with your cash in a complete gamble. That was the only way to discover new and off-centre music. 

Hold that thought as we will come back to it. With the internet, you have multiple outlets with reviews and lots of ways of listening to tracks. You don't have to part with your money as you can listen to the individual tracks. Which way do you prefer to discover music? Well, here is a website telling you that Chad Vangaalen's fifth album is well worth checking out. You can track it down and hear it yourself. 

The album is eclectic. It sounds like Andrew Bird. It sounds the closest to Neutral Milk Hotel that anyone has sounded since In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. It sounds like a 60s throwback. It sounds like country music. It sounds like all this and more.  

The arrangements are unique and will have you scratching your head for a general direction while having it lodge firmly in the brain. Standout tracks include 'Monster' (sounds like NMH), 'Where Are You' (full of effects and howling), 'Cut Off My Hand' (Andrew Bird has a twin brother) and 'Evil'. But the joy of the album is that as its so completely all over the place, something different lodges each time. It's one of those albums that, once discovered, will appeal for a long time.

Going back to the internet debate, the real problem with the internet is that you tend to listen to individual tracks and not the album, whereas traditionally you would get the entire album and gradually learn to love it. This album really benefits from the whole-listen approach. Enjoy each twist and turn and different direction and don't dismiss it after the first listen. This one will really reward. 

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