Album Review: Chad Vangaalen – ‘Diaper Island’

Marrying psych guitar with moments of unhinged brilliance

Since this Canadian renaissance man last released an album, he’s produced a pair of records by Calgary’s dearly departed Women. It’s unsurprising, then, that ‘Diaper Island’ sounds like a natural companion to last year’s ‘Public Strain’.

Sweeter than its landfill-conjuring name suggests, ‘Diaper Island’ supplies the harsh guitar harmonics, reverb and claustrophobic atmosphere VanGaalen does best, but aligns them with some of his prettiest songs – ‘Heavy Stones’ is like Band Of Horses with a huge drug habit, while ‘Can You Believe It!?’ is messed-up psychedelic pop that channels Elephant 6’s most unhinged moments to thrilling effect. Well, they do say behind every VanGaalen is a good Women…

Tom Pinnock

Order a copy of Chad Vangaalen’s ‘Diaper Island’ from Amazon