Getting burned is the greatest pleasure - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #149

Any fan has been there, anybody with any kind of obsession has done it; heard, or read about something at length and felt provoked to check it out. It usually takes a good amount of searching, and sometimes quite a bit of money and you finally get a hold of that record that you’ve been so looking forward to and have heard so much rave about, and you spin it, and spin it again, and come to face the fact that it just isn’t very good. You, my friend, have been burned. It happens to junkies more than most, and bad product can burn you a lot more than a coupla wasted dolla’ and two wasted hours. It’s a fact of record collection and a fact of being a fan that sooner or later, and throughout your fandom, you are gonna get burned. You can do stuff to avert it, you can try and get all your stuff for free, but it’ll still be burning you in the time department, you can try and try before you buy, but some records only reveal their crapness after a few listens. Just face it, you’re destined to have a collection full of mediocre records that some prick who’s too highly paid and gets all his records for free raved about as good, not remembering that all the devoted heads have limited time and limited money and anything that isn’t of utmost usefulness ought to take a back seat. I’ve come to relish getting burned as much as hitting a hum-dinger.

Often I’m asked, if I listen to so much music, do I enjoy it, you must listen to a whole lotta crap right? Well, I sure do listen to a whole lot of crap but I love every second. I certainly don’t relish the Terminator-esque crushing tedium of the latest chart fodder that comes and goes as fast as a target at a firing range, but I greatly adore my download completing, or that awesome thud as something pricey and rare wrapped in a jiffy bag hits the carpet behind the front door. Taking something out of a case, giving it a spin, the anticipation. Even if the music is crap, there’s just so much to be grateful for if you’re a music head that the music is almost like a bonus. Today I bring you a story of being badly burned by some internet creep who recommended Japanese riff-poachers Too Much as a ‘Japanese Sabbath’ when really they’re a slow and empty guitar workout notable only for the difficulty of their records to find. I have been horribly burned, let this article function as both an advisory to not pick up Too Much’s self-titled album, and an exploration of the sheer joy of getting burned.

Back cover of Too Much, by Too Much
Seriously. I spent a lot of time and a not-inconsiderable amount of money getting this album and when I finally set it down to play it was just weak proto-Zeppelin Jap rip-off not worth phoning home about. Tired songs drag on two minutes too long each, slow riffs that Sabbath made sound so alive just struggle across the needle, wheezing and puffing under their flab, while Sabbath is muscular, this stuff is just outta shape. Bored and uninspired, and uninspiring to play, offering nothing, not even some vocal genius to speak of. There are all sorts, Zep rip-off, some scrap off the Sabbath slag-heap, a cover of I Shall Be Released that ought to be punished with a very hard punch in the face, there’s lazy hazy country ballad crap and why do I keep listening to it? It’s shite, no wonder they didn’t get any more records if this is the kind of shit they were pushing, shoulda been made to be bartenders. Nobody wanted the whole second side, mawkishly overblown sadistic attempts at sentimentality by moronic robots, nobody wanted that I Shall Be Released cover, not any single body, the band didn’t want it and the label didn’t want it and yet here it squats in the middle of the LP, breaking up the tedium with a bit of light hero torture. What the hell is the faux Nashville flute bullshit? It’s abortively terrible.

So why is this fucking record still spinning for me night after night? I’m addicted to the burn. I like the record, screw that, love this record because of what it makes me think about it. Sure the sounds are dull and I could find better work under a rock anytime, but Too Much makes me think of things. Like what a fraud I am, sitting here amongst ever growing piles of stuff. Because that’s what I am, a fraud and a cheat, and I cheat all of you too, by pretending to know. All I do is listen and spout a thousand words of uninformed shite and it seems to resonate. I don’t know what I’m doing, because apparently this record is considered a classic in its genre so what do I know!? And I like thinking about all the music that has been made that’s even worse than this, oh god there’s soooo much! And how idiots lap it up, and hoping, hoping against hope that all those people who bought Adele’s album just don’t know the ability of rock and roll to transport us… because Jesus save us if they genuinely think that mewling bitch is a better choice. Most of all, Too Much makes me think about how much I love music. I love all the minutiae, the vinyl and the liner notes and the artwork and I know somewhere out there, in some deprived place, there is somebody who loves this record. To someone, this is sonic nirvana, and that opinion ain’t right and it ain’t wrong as much as mine ain’t right and ain’t wrong. I don’t recommend you spend any time or money acquiring Too Much, but go out and buy records, with any luck, you’ll get burned too.

Written under duress by Steven.

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