When your a music critic, most of the stuff you review is, at times, kinda predictable. You can see it coming. For example, DJ Fresh and Nero hit number one, and a few weeks later there’s a big push of dub-step tracks coming out. If a band announce a festival headlining slot, you can usually expect an album to land on your desk a couple of months before. That doesn’t mean to say this is bad. It’s just how things are in this industry.
BUT, there are also times when something hits you so out of left-field your taken aback by it. This ladies and gentlemen, is one of those times, and this moment is brought to you by “Social Awkwardness” by Abyssal Creatures.
Now I wasn’t aware of the band before this point, so I may be missing a few gaps in the backstory here, but I’m sure long-standing fans will forgive me for any egregious oversights I may make.
Sometime in 2010, frontman Ian Fellerman decided he wanted to take the project into much more personal and inflected pathways than before. He noticed about how his lyrics were starting to focus on the dichotomy he felt about being alternatively comfortable and uncomfortable about being left out of society, and gifted with a desire to embark upon a more electronic sound, he set to work recording his opus himself assisted by DJ Super Pooper and Paul Jung.
A year later, and “Social Awkwardness” is sitting in my hi-fi. I’m lost for words, and that’s a good thing. This is fantastic, one of the best LP’s I’ve reviewed this year.
First of, it goes without saying that this isn’t an album for everyone. It’s deeply experimental. It’s almost as if early-Radiohead went chiptune at a fork in the road. Guitar melodies sit alongside old Casio keyboards. Noises are pulsating, noises are crashing together and falling apart, all constructed in a beautiful way.
What’s really to behold here is the intimacy of Ian’s lyrics. It reads almost like someone cracked open his diary, and crafted an instrumental to it, true to his promises, this is an immensely personal experience, and there will undoubtedly be tracks you walk away from going “I resonate with that”, and others that may leave you at a loss. It’s because of this I can’t really give a highlights, because each track will mean different things to different people. My advice though, first and foremost is to listen to it, because it will blow you away.