Saturday, June 14, 2008

Really Heavy Metal

No. This is not an outpouring in praise of the world's best and foremost adult illustrated science fiction/fantasy magazine to which I am a subscriber. If you are adventurous in your graphic novel forays, then this is the place to be. Cutting edge. I concede that not everything in there is good, and I will not go on save to say that each issue is a treasure chest with many true gems worth more than the gold, silver and copper it lay beside. But let us not forget some of the greats that honed and displayed their craft in that magazine such as Frank Frazetta, Moebius, Enki Bilal, Richard Corben Pepe Moreno, and H.R. Giger would do covers for it. Muahs. But no. This is about music.

I'm not terribly educated about music. Far from the academic Art is (If this is your first time here, I humbly beg of you to check out Art's awesomevoyages of rock and roll music history and scintillating analysis here: American Pie Revisited and Shine On You Crazy Diamond) but I know what I like even if I am not always able to explain to you why I like it. And it took me a long time to get to this stage of my life with regard to listening to music: to try finding something worth while in a song no matter what the song, to enjoy it for what it is, to not be overly concerned about what people may think of my musical tastefulness and finally to keep broadening my listening experience and expanding my musical appreciation vocabulary from the only 2 that I am capable of at the moment: 'Wah, damn good man!' and 'Eyer, damn shit man!'

I have to say that the music that I have listened to since acquiring that attitude has broadened a great deal so much so that I am now enjoying music I never imagined I would like about oh 3 years ago such as Indonesian bands (4 out of the 6 slots in my car are Indobands right now which is amazing for someone whose Malay is so craporama) and Latin American bands (although I have been quite into Cuban music for some time now right before the Buena Vista Social Club became huge! and caught them with Omara Portuendo when they hit KL some years back and threw an immensely satisfying show for all of those fortunate enough to attend).

But this liberal, reasonable and worldly attitude comes to a crashing halt where it concerns what I know it as: Really Heavy Metal (RHM). You know the one where you hear chugging guitars riffing out a wall of sound with the chap on lead guitar having a good plank spanking session there by himself, the drummer smashing away a steady pounding relentless beat and there's a 'singer' who screams, roars or could be belching the National Budget for this year for all I know and who tries to induce whiplash by whipping their head back and forth or doing the seizure thing with their head. And most of them will have huge heads of hair. Not stuff like Metallica, Led Zep, and the like. Those bands bother with the lyrics and melody.

I wanted to like it. I tried to like it. I really did. A family friend of mine once said to me, if somebody cooks something for me and tells me it is nice or good, in good faith of course, I will eat it no matter how disgusting it looks. That pretty much sums up my attitude towards music (and yeah food as well!). So I tried. But I just couldn't get it. I mean in terms of precision and tightness, there was no doubt about it. They could come to a grinding halt even at full chug but there was no subtlety. There is not much in the way of texture either. Lyrics were merely a sorry excuse for screaming something. One of my good friends is into it. He told me it was about the feeling. Perhaps. I guess. Hmm. Hee. Haw. I didn't get any feeling except, I need to listen to some good music fast!

I used to be a bit chuffed about it. Silly. I know. It was the whole 'if other people can, why can't I get it?' sort of thing. But I've come to terms with it. I'm not too bothered about the fact that it's harder to get into heavy metal as opposed to say someone like Britney Spears (she's got great producers) or Mariah Carey (she's got talent for the pop song and massive tits, so she must be ... oh sorry and a great voice, so she's got the goods) or even Take That (you gotta like 'Pray' at least). And I'm not bothered that you may catch me lip synching and doing those backstreet moves too or that I can't play as far as those really heavy metal bastards. And you know what? I've reached a certain measure of confidence in my tastes and appreciation of music that I am now able to say with utmost confidence that I abhor really heavy metal and if it is to be classified as music then it should be thrown into the category of burping and farting, because it sounds little better than that.


art harun said...

The metals...yeah...I could stomach some of them like Metalica (I remember mentioning that to Paula and she said "Metal lick who?"), but when it comes to real heavy stuffs like Death Metal, Goth (but I must say Evanescence is good!) and whatever metals they may have, I must confess I can't take them either.

The Amearican troops had found a good use for those metals. Remember they blasted it outside Noriega's mansion night and day until the poor guy surrender. Hmmm...I have evil thoughts now....suddenly....

Ryn said...

You know, your "socialist" friend who likes heavy metal? He tried to convert to me n our "drebar" by listening to some metal on the way back from Penang to KL around January this year. The "socialist" failed. We listened to One Republic instead.