Listen to “Tetra Pack Heads.”
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.