Label: Three Lobed Recordings
'I’ll set the scene – we’re all passed out face-down in the lawn of the first Bush term, scratching our heads after 9/11 and wondering how much more dystopian it’s about to get. Ash hangs in the air as we march toward endless war, and the activities of the post-hippie, post-beat, post-punk, post-jazz, post-industrial, post-experimental bohemian underground flail against the avalanche with a mystic fire you can’t get your arms around, let alone bottle up for consumption. Jars of tears, rockets from another world. Sunburned Hand of the Man was a part of all that.
Sunburned appeared from time to time (occasionally at my invitation) in Western Massachusetts, a mongrel mob from Beantown, inscrutable in the extreme, their music governed by an internal logic, or by no logic, a bearded octopus with spider legs on stilts moonwalking with a limp. I’d see a set, then listen to a recording of it and swear that it was not the music I had witnessed earlier. As far as I can figure, the music actually had a mind of its own. And yet, in a shockingly conflicting truth, I knew in my heart that the music hadn’t changed – I had. These early encounters left me wondering why exactly these people were making this music, and very glad that they were.
They were driven by drums, bass, and guitars, and were obviously in love with groovy riffs, but to call them a rock band seemed even stupider than calling them a jam band. There were hand drums, shruti boxes, and plenty of moaning, but they were far from a hemp-bracelet-clad circle of evolutionary regressives spouting peace and love bullshit. There were weird electronics and some odd costumes once in a while, but it wasn’t anything resembling conceptual theater made for tight-assed, chin-stroking academic prudes. They chewed through every leash imaginable, and went bolting off into the wilds of a confounding and glorious wilderness.' - Matt Krefting