måndag 29 augusti 2011

Too Much - S/T (Tung Hårdrock, Japan 1971)

260:- (SHM-CD Limited Remaster Edition. Tung hårdrock från Japan med sång på engelska. Bra album till ett bra pris.)

Often touted as the Japanese Black Sabbath by blowhards and those who’ve not actually heard the music, the excellently named Too Much hailed from the large city port of Kobe, where the band members grew up sucking in all kinds of western influences from the LPs and 7” singles that came in on the boats.One of the band – guitarist Junio Nakahara – had spent the late ‘60s in the blues group The Helpful Soul, whose sole LP features in this book’s Top 50 on account of its deeply inspired 10-minutes plus plodathon ‘Peace For Fools’.However, as its audience could never have perceived The Helpful Soul as anything more than another Group Sounds act, guitarist Nakahara decided to jump on the burgeoning New Rock bandwagon by forming the more appropriately named Too Much.Nakahara’s inspiration came from the TOO MUCH concert that The Helpful Soul played with the newly-formed Blues Creation, in Kyoto at the end of February 1970.

The hippy phrase ‘too much’ was already utterly cliched in the West by this 
time, but it was iconic and easily pronounceable to Japanese.In the process, Nakahara hooked up with hard rock singer Juni Lush, changed his own name to the more substantially New Rock-sounding Tsomu Ogawa(!), and dragged high school mates Hideya Kobayashi and Masayuki Aoki along as the rhythm section.They signed a deal with Atlantic Records in the summer of 1970, and wrote a whole slew of mindless proto-metal anthems, including the excellent ‘Grease It Out’, ‘Love Is You’ and ‘Gonna Take You’.These were duly recorded and sounded mindlessly, monolithically, perfectly suited to the lowbrow audience Too Much was aiming to please.

Unfortunately, the Atlantic businessmen saw in the be-afro’d Juni Lush another potential star in the mould of Flower Travellin’ Band’s Joe Yamanaka, and they pressured the band into adding several mawkishly sentimetal ballads to the debut LP in order to widen their audience.The results were disastrous. No one needed yet another version of Bobby Dylan’s ‘I Shall Be Released’, particularly the Nipponashville abortion that Too Much delivered. Hey, but neither did they require ‘Song For My Lady’, the arduously phlegmatic 12-minute album closer which arrived replete with megastring sections, Michel LaGrande pianos, Moody Blues flute solos and nere a six-string razor in sight.Too Much was just not enough, and they split soon after the album was released...

Yet another Japanese hard rockers with their only one album. It opens with monstrous "Grease It Out" with typical Sabbath's riff and vocal manere (but not with such voice) "like Plant". The second track is so funny - "Love That Blinds Me" - free cover "Since I've Been Loving You" (begins with the words "“Working from early in the morning Till late at night everyday...” :)) with similar melody. But if not keep in mind this curiousity the rest of material is not bad - and tuff songs ("Love Is You и Gonna Take You") and power-ballads ("Reminiscence" и "I Shall Be Released"). And the last composition that ends the album is very good - sympho-prog 12-minutes long "Song For My Lady (Now I Found)" with flute, acoustic and mellotron.

01.Grease It Out
02.Love That Binds Me
03.Love Is You
05.I Shall Be Released
06.Gonna Take You
07.Song For My Lady (Now I Found)