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Abyssal Creatures: Abyssal Creatures

It's not often that I can't actually sit through an album from start to finish, in fact I'm not sure it has ever happened before. However no matter how many times I've tried to endure the twelve tracks on the full length debut from Aspen band Abyssal Creatures, I just can't bring myself to suffer the whole thing in one go. I say band, however in truth Abyssal Creatures is the baby of Ian Fellerman who (kind of) plays guitar and sings, while it would it appear he pounds away on a bass drum.

Describing what is on offer here is no easy task, however I'll take it one component at a time. What you get is some rudimentary acoustic guitar strumming that has zero character and less skill, Fellerman's annoying whiny vocals and the least adventurous bass playing I've ever heard. Add to that a thumping bass drum that sounds more like the noise someone makes when they fall down a flight of wooden stairs and the oddest wheezing drone that doesn't really sound like any instrument. The fact that the bass drum stumbles out of time on countless occasions makes much of this sound plain ridiculous. However Fellerman's guitar playing also suffers from the same fate and he appears to struggle to keep in synch with his surroundings to the extent that it genuinely feels like a one man band, where the musician is trying to play all the components at the same time and failing.

The only respite is the more restrained "Cindy Lou", where the cacophonous acoustic avante-garde punk is reined in to the extent that a song breaks out, it also has one of the more sensible lyrics on the album. I'm not really sure that I need to hear songs where the themes are a love affair between a guard and a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay ("Electric"), or a radicalised individual who drops out of working class society ("Gentleman's History") and the fact that the final two songs are "about a person who tries to find compassion and understanding for all the diverse feelings felt by the characters on this record" is just plain pretentious.

I'm sure that Fellerman is fully intending this album to be controversial and "challenging", however it doesn't matter how passionate someone is about their cause, if the music they set their emotions to (however bizarre they may appear to be) is terrible.

Abyssal Creatures? More like Abysmal Creatures.

Track Listing
1. College is a Racket
2. The Breadline
3. Casualties of Progress
4. Electricity
5. The Sad Comedian
6. Six Feet
7. Cindy Lou
8. Seeds
9. The Disappeared
10. Gentleman's History
11. Ignatius
12. Suicide by Cop

Added: October 5th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Abyssal Creatures Web Site
Hits: 2332
Language: english

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