Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chad Vangaalen Is Stranded On Diaper Island

Chad Vangaalen is an unusual musician that seems to have a cartoon like sense of wonder and a lo fi aesthetic. His album Diaper Island is a weird fractured folk record that borders on being some twisted kind of Velvet Underground garage rock hooked on magic mushrooms. Diaper Island is weird, not too catchy, a bit psychedelic and slightly ramshackle at best. As a result of all that chaos, I'm still not sure whether or not I actually enjoyed listening to it.

Chad is clearly at his best when things get a bit more rock and roll and as a result Diaper Island is that much more enjoyable. Quite honestly, Diaper Island just seems better when it's all rocked out instead of introspective and slow. In fact I'm not even sure why he should bother with the fractured folk stuff, its yawn inducing. Seriously, just plug the guitars in, crank ‘em up and go. Sure, the record sounds like it was recorded in a bathroom stall, with the actual recording equipment half functional, but when Chad's rocking out it just sounds cooler.

So, let’s just say this about Diaper's ok. When he's quiet and subdued, Chad's pretty boring. When he plugs in and turns it up he's a lot more fun. Clearly then by all logical means, he should just stay plugged in, set up in a men’s room and record like fifty lo-fi garage rock albums.

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