Monday, May 7, 2007
Afflicted Man Complete CD UK DIY (punk?)
By the 7th track on this 2CD comp, you will have forgotten how forgettable the first 4 songs were as you bask in the glory of the "Afflicted Man's Musical Bag" LP. "Hippy Punk" opens side one with a shambling beat that is more Can than punk. The stumble through 3 more tracks. The jaded vocals make almost any pace the music takes seem frantic whether it is shambling wanna be reggae, dub, ACResque post punk groove, or space rock wannabe. Glue Sniffing is a mega pre-straightedge cautionary tale. "Hippy Punk" gives way to "Hippy Skin" on side 2 of this crucially fucked up and random LP. Elements of post punk classics float by filtered through a dose of pub rock and acid rock. Clearly living up to future song title "for the few I please"..... There is a musicality to this that reminds me of the Police if there main goal was to get fucked up and jam rather than write hits. Piano and acoustic guitar appear on side 2 of this record. As well as a desire to "keep the tape running" which manifests on "musically insane" an epic rework of "I'm afflicted" from their 1st single.
The first 15 or so tracks had made me forget what made me buy this in the first place. Aquarius said it was some proto High Rise mega feedback shit. This CD holds that until the end of disc two which opens with the "I'm off Me' Ead" LP which picks up where disc one left off. Basic vocals dissolve into guitar skronk that is worthy of FE drooling praise. "Survival in the 80s" is some dub/PIL rhythms with some serious guitar behind it. Lunkhead lyrics could have been on any mid 80s OI record.
Finishing strong is an understatement, when the "Get Stoned Ezy" tracks kick in, you know you are going to love this shit. A heavier, dumber groove and heavier guitar sound replaces the post punk meanderings and the Aquarius review jumps back into your head. The guitar keeps coming. As the vocal fade away, more and more effects get piled on and the feedback gets thicker. Mega. "Zip'ead" opens up with a fat fierce groove that should make hipster light weights like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club sit down and shut the fuck up. If you can't rock harder than some shit from the early 80s, don't quit your day job at Starbucks. This track is clearly the one inspiring the High Rise comparison and is worthy of it. This 3 song EP is clearly on the next level form Afflicted Man's previous output. "Sun Sun" closes it out which is a massive Sabbath/Guess Who affair that hints at what might come out of Seattle 20 year later. HUGE. And a reminder that there is nothing new under the sun.
I guess this music existed under the umbrella of UK DIY which is a huge genre I know nothing about. Either way it is a desperate and stumbling bridge between harder psych and punk. Records this fucked up and forgotten, yet resurfaced are a real pleasure to get a hold of. According to the liner notes NME called it "Hendrix meets Crass" and that seems to work. Seems way more fun to waste time and spill ink on this odd ball reissue than some other hallowed post punk sacred cow. A more knowledgeable source than me dropped science on it on the Siltblog.
Big Ups to Senseless Whale records out of Australia for compiling and releasing this odd ball classic.