ALBUM REVIEW: Chad VanGaalen – ‘Shrink Dust’

The Canadian is back after an eagerly awaited three years since his last album ’Diaper Island’ with his fifth self-produced studio album ‘Shrink Dust’, on ‘Sub Pop’ Records.

The trend continues. The trend that is the wonderfully creative and adventurous approach and attitudes towards his own work, yet this trend surrounding Chad VanGaalen is greatly accepted by people who are aware of the work, and ultimately the world of VanGaalen as the release of his fifth studio album approaches.

It is eerie yet strangely soothing on the mind, offering more perspectives relating to many of the daunting concepts of life than ever before.

A variety of instruments, which can be expected from the Canadian, are used to accompany the many concepts VanGaalen has left us to uncover, delve into and get completely lost within, ultimately leaving us questioning, a lot. Perhaps the most abnormal instruments being found in tracks “Monster”, “Evil” and opening track “Cut Off My Hands”.

This is what happens throughout the whole running of album ‘Shrink Dust’.  You hear the more socially expected instruments, found in a large portion of the modern world of music production. Then, in classic CVG style, you are left sat there wondering “What the f*ck was that?”. After you’ve taken a minute or two to settle into this new estranged world, you begin to question, “Wait, why am I not on this other wonderful planet? It seems a damn-sight better than the reality of the world my mind is currently delving in and out of”.

That’s what Chad VanGaalen’s latest resounding masterpiece does. It is a pacifier, a release, an opium.

The album itself, as already mentioned, contemplates many concepts that perhaps we as individuals are too reluctant to consider, including themes of death, transformation, fear, evil, and the eccentricity of love. VanGaalen has developed a strong reputation for withholding a vast number of different characteristics, it can be undoubtedly withdrawn that the eccentric, mysterious yet colourful Canadian is not fearful, he is not fearful to force his audience to unwillingly delve into topics that other musicians do not. However, we shouldn’t do anything but thank him for this astonishing new outlook in which the album offers our minds.

These themes can easily be highlighted through a look at the track listing for “Shrink Dust”, which can be read below.

‘Shrink Dust’.

 1. Cut Off My Hands 

2. Where Are You 

3. Frozen Paradise 

4. Lila 

5. Weighed Sin 

6. Monster 

7. Evil 

8. Leaning on Bells 

9. All Will Combine 

10. Weird Love 

11. Hangman’s Son 

12. Cosmic Destroyer 

This journey, that is ‘Shrink Dust’ by Chad VanGaalen, is beautiful and majestic, and once you get a taste of it, you’ll be travelling through it over and over again.

In the words taken from the opening track, ‘Cut Off My Hands’, “Close my eyes and dream of different skies” and let yourself truly experience this magnificently pondering universe that the genius which is Chad VanGaalen has opened up to you.

VanGaalen is on course to set off on his North American tour starting the day following the release of the album, with one stand out gig in London, after performing at ‘End Of The Road’ Festival in North Dorset, to end his tour, offering many of his U.K fans a not to be missed chance to be graced by his brilliance, accompanied by daringness.

Shrink Dust’ is set to be released on April 29, 2014 on Sub Pop Records.

James Cummins.

James Cummins

James Cummins

James Cummins

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