In a letter that accompanied a promo copy of Social Awkwardness, main man Ian Fellerman explains that Abyssal Creatures began as a solo project of sorts, with Fellerman screaming and yelling about obscure political topics over an acoustic guitar. So I didn't have high hopes for this album — which finds Fellerman singing (not shouting) and playing guitars, keys and synth bass as well as programming the drums, opting for a full band only in live situations. After listening to Social Awkwardness, an "electronic-noise-pop" album about being comfortable with feeling socially out of place, I have to admit that I understand why Fellerman decided to feature an alien-like figure on the cover with its index fingers jabbed into its ears.
Wait. That might be too harsh of a criticism.
Social Awkardness is either a quirkily delightful or utterly annoying album, depending on your musical tastes, and props to Fellerman for not only writing, performing, recording, engineering, mixing and mastering this thing to make it sound professional, but for his guileless lyrics that reveal more about himself than many artists even dare. The song titles intrigue, too: "If Paul McCartney Was Not Successful," "The Most Disturbing Interlude," "I'm Too Old For Parties," "Operators Don't Appreciate Conversation." But an over-reliance on distorted guitars, a mess of retro Casio blips and squeals, and Fellerman's twee (and sometimes anguished) indie-rock voice might have limited appeal among Sea of Tranquility's regulars.
1) Old Gymnasiums Turned into Dance Halls
2) I Felt Small
3) Social Awkwardness
4) If Paul McCartney Was Not Successful
5) A Song for Violet
6) Escaping a Dream Attack
7) Responsibilities (and the Things I'd Rather Do)
8) My BFF
9) Cold Shoulder
10) The Most Disturbing Interlude
11) I'm Too Old For Parties
12) A Funeral For a Parking Lot
14) An Exercise in Nostalgia
15) Imaginary Fights
16) Operators Don't Appreciate Conversation