Sunburned Hand of the Man‘s acclaimed 2002 album Headdress is being reissued. The 20th anniversary edition of the album is being released on October 14, via Three Lobed, and it’s been remastered by Carl Saff from the original master sources. Today, the band has shared “The Illness,” which you can hear below.
The group’s Robert Thomas said in a press release, “I can remember the details of this recording vividly. I recall locking into this rhythm with John Moloney on drums (I played bass) and the rest of the band elevating around us. I looked out at the crowd and saw J. Mascis standing next to Tom Verlaine and they were both laughing as they watched us. Simultaneously in the distance, a group of young women who had wandered onto the common burst out into a spontaneous and beautiful synchronized cheerleading routine, perfectly in sync with our rhythms. A breeze suddenly kicked up and some of the fresh fallen & brightly hued leaves of the early New England autumn started floating gently through the air around us as we slid into cruise control. The searing, fluid lead guitar of the late, great Marc Orleans began to hover above the band and then merge into the tone of David Bohill with a very sympathetic magic. We played together constantly in those days and the 3 guitars of Orleans, Bohill and Rich Pontius would often layer and blend into one another until it was difficult to determine who was playing what. At its very peak, their guitars would meld into what sounded like one huge instrument and I think some of this is evident here. Listening back now, I’m reminded of what a profound influence the 3 guitar attack of “Then Play On” era Fleetwood Mac was on this particular lineup of the band with Orleans especially having mastered a Peter Green like approach to his leads. The uncanny & beguiling electronics of Chad Cooper smear & vibrate around this track with eerie elegance (as they do throughout the whole album). Given the technical crudity with which we recorded those sets back then (2 mics plugged into a cassette deck) I’m struck by how accurately and evenly we were able to catch the full sound of the group on these tapes. The fidelity is obviously “lo” but we really did capture the way the band sounded in the flesh in those days.“
Sunburned Hand of the Man’s last album was 2021’s Pick a Day to Die.
Sunburned Hand of the Man Headdress tracklist:
2. Sense of the Senseless
3. The Illness
5. Yes, Your Highness
6. A Second Guess
7. The Underground Press
8. Unless You Confess
9. End of the Endless