Man, Sunburned Hand of the Man are a hard band to keep up with. They release 30 thousand things a year on 20 thousand different labels on 10 thousand different formats. Their official discography is usually a year out of date. When you do pick up one of their new releases, you never know which Sunburned Hand of the Man you're getting and if it will be some future shit or just a boring jam session. And even worse (at least to a information whore like myself) they rarely tell you a thing about who played on it, what they played, where it was recorded, and what the story is.
So here's what I know about ?Mylar Tantrum.? It's one 20 minute track. It's part of a new subscription EP series on Three Lobed Recordings called ?Modern Containment? (although it's seemingly available separately from Fusetron). The liner notes mention Ira Cohen and his 1968 film ?The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda?. Now, here's where I have to make some assumptions. Bastet (the publishing arm of Arthur Magazine) have reissued a DVD of ?The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda? and have commissioned Sunburned Hand of the Man (and Acid Mothers Temple) to record alternate soundtracks for the film. ?The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda? made heavy use of Mylar as a reflective surface and is 20 minutes long. So I'm going to assume that ?Mylar Tantrum? is the alternate soundtrack that Sunburned Hand of the Man recorded for that film. I'm not sure why they chose to release it as a CD on an entirely different label, but trying to divine the thoughts of Sunburned leads to madness. That's just how they roll.
On to the important part: the music. ?Mylar Tantrum? is a pretty hot jam. It opens with a heartbeat and a droning accordion, and that forms the basis for what is an abstract, repetitive meditation. Other instruments (banjo, whistles, yellin') come in and out, but it always returns to the drone and a pulsing primal rhythm. About halfway through, the heartbeat ends and the drums take over. It sounds like two drum kits, hand drums and some rhythm sticks, and they lay down a driving groove that sets the stage for the wordless chanting that dominates the last quarter before handing it back to the accordion. The piece comes from nowhere, goes nowhere and returns to nowhere. ?Mylar Tantrum? sounds like an invocation (or a folk version of Sunn0)))) and, based on the few clips of ?The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda? that I have seen, it would make an appropriate soundtrack. 8/10 -- Ed Corcoran (2 October, 2006)