Boomkat Product Review:
Veteran Boston psych outfit Sunburned's latest studio jaunt is a predictably dense set of troubled funk, cosmic psychedelia, deranged rock 'n roll and wyrd folk.
Prolific isn't quite a strong enough term to describe Sunburned Hand of the Man. Established in 1994, the sprawling band's output has been spread over tapes, limited vinyl editions and CDrs and reached a viscous head in the mid-'00s, when the band's accidental popularity (hand-in-hand with a surge of interest in New Weird America) led them to record with Four Tet. "Hypnotape" was recorded between 2021 and 2022, and shows that while the band have slowed down, their artistic resolve hasn't been diminished even a little. The title track is the point where it makes most sense, stripping back the jocular funk of the first few tracks and settling into a woozy fusion of spoken word and new age synthesis.
'That Which Is' combines ragged poetry with disarming folk strumming, and tracks like 'Dragon Drainer' and 'With Zeus' thrust the band's jammy rock into slashed amp distortions. The album sounds as if it could unwind at any point, but Sunburned have been at this for decades and their improvisation is another band's composition. If you're missing the short lived CDr era, this'll be a pleasant flashback.