"I'm Off Me 'Ead" is DIY psych punk (or "Hippy Punk" as Steve Hall calls it) at it's finest, but don't just take my word for it. Heavyweight record aficionados such as Henry Rollins, Byron Coley, Tom Lax, Doug Mosurock, and Geoffrey Weiss are BIG fans...
The idiosyncratic music critic, Byron Coley (Forced Exposure, Bull Tongue, Spin, Wire, Arthur), really lays it out there: "Steve Hall's Afflicted (Man) project was one of the greatest mystery wobbles to come out of the Brit DIY explosion. Trying to figure out what the hell these records were about took years to unravel. We even thought there might be a Nurse With Wound connection when United Dairies released the Afflicted Man's Musica Box LP. We were stupid, but can you blame us? The slurred psych blues of I'm Off Me 'Ead were so unlike anything else going on at the time, it almost seemed like the whole thing had to be a put-on of some kind. There had been those earlier records, sure, this one felt way different. The concept of UK stoner-punks had existed for a few years, but their output had tended towards the arty end of things before this. There's a latent brutality to Im' Off that truly lashed our feeble minds. But maybe that's only because L.A. was awash in very good acid right about then. Still, it remains extremely difficult to place this music inside the contextual history of what was going on then. Jesus, I would have loved to have caught a gig or two. Unimaginable. I bought I'm Off Me 'Ead at the old Vinyl Fetish store on Melrose in '81, same year I finally managed to snag a copy of Randy Holden's Population II, and they were both records I'd play to anyone who dropped by our pad in Santa Monica for a listening session. The utterly fucked-up-ness of both guitarists never failed to astonish anyone who wasn't too wasted to acknowledge what they were hearing. And so it is."
Tom Lax's Siltblog posted this: "Afflicted Man's style could best described at stock-in-trade Brit DIY w/an almost Street Level sort've quality to it…Too freaked out for punks, too punked out for freaks... must've felt like a rusty safety pin stuck straight through the heart of whatever DIY fanbase Hall had acquired. And for all the Pink Fairies or Hawkwind type's that mighta come across it, it was too primitive & animalistic for their quid."
Geoffrey Weiss' is one of the most venerable record collectors in the world. He summed it up like this: "Deliriously incompetent, frighteningly direct, and bafflingly out-of-time, there is no doubt that Steve Hall is in touch here with something most of us can't get near. "
Still Single's Doug Mosurock had this to say:
"I wrote a long piece about Steve Hall for Dusted when the Afflicted Man bootleg 2xCD of all the recordings came out a few years back. Without necessarily rehashing that piece, I will say that the second LP he made, as Afflicted Man, is the keystone between psychedelic rock of the ‘60s and punk of the years building up to its 1980 release date – and unlike some sort of halfway psych-squatters on punk aggression (Hawkwind, Gong) or the militant side of punk (Crass, Conflict), Afflicted could easily walk between both worlds without question, simply because he realized that the path between punk and psych was a one-way deal, and you had to start in punk to go back in order to reach the crazed highs realized on I’m Off Me ‘Ead. (Drugs helped a lot, to be fair.) Permanent’s reissue puts this fine album into perspective, with interviews from today and a long piece care of Chris Stigliano, published decades ago in Forced Exposure issue 9, and it seems that one of the only afflictions that followed Hall through his career was trying to avoid support by skinheads and fascists, hence his long-assumed National Front ties which have since been vehemently refuted. Just because you added rock elements back into punk should not put you in the same league as Skrewdriver. Anyway, now is the time to JAM THE FUCK OUT to long, rattled blasters that connect Billy Childish to Mick Farren, and serve as the bridge to the final Afflicted Man release, 1982’s Get Stoned Ezy. Very much worth your time."
We here at Permanent absolutely love this record and are incomprehensibly honored to be the label reissuing it on vinyl for the first time ever. It's been fully licensed by Steve Hall himself and painstakingly remastered by the total pros at Penguin Recording in Eagle Rock. The jacket artwork was graciously reconstituted and touched-up by Bill "Trouble In Mind" Roe. The full-color "I'm Off Me 'Ead" inner sleeve contains a bunch of unseen Afflicted Man photos, an unpublished interview with Steve Hall and a fully authorized reprint of Chris Stigliano's article from Forced Exposure #9 (Winter 1986).
The second pressing (let's hope there's demand for multiple) is limited to 300 copies worldwide.
RIYL: Hawkwind, Pink Fairies, Deviants, The Fall, Alternative TV, Coloured Balls, Michael Yonkers, Vic Godard, Mark Perry, Private Press / Outsider Rock, and REPETITION