Rapeman

Steve Albini forcing sex on your ear
*special introductory paragraph!
*Budd EP
*Two Nuns And A Pack Mule
*Inki's Butt Crack 7"

Between Big Black-ack-ack-ack-ack and Shellac-ac-ac-ac-ac, famous record producer Steve Albini led a non-Billy Joel-influenced band called Rapeman. Kind of like Glenn Danzig's Samhain, this short-lived outfit didn't quite hit the watermark as often as his first and third bands. But that doesn't mean they were the worst band ever! I'll have you know that the drummer was the talented Rey Washam (Big Boys, Scratch Acid, Didjits, Helios Creed) and the bassist was the fellated David Wm. Sims (Scratch Acid, The Jesus Lizard)! So even if Steve was experiencing writer's block, how bad could the band be? Essentially Rapeman was the developmental middle road between the angry clanging screaming of Big Black and the restrained rhythm-driven Shellac. But the name of the band wasn't nearly as clever as you'd hope - it was just stolen from a Japanese comic book. It would be like me calling my band "Scrooge McDuck" or some related nonsense.

Please pardon me a moment while I phone my attorney.


Budd EP - Touch And Go 1988/
Rating = 8

Man! Steve picked the right guys to back up his tinny scratchy wiry guitar scrapings, because, unlike the grounded, drum machine-driven Big Black tunes, this music just POUNDS POUNDS POUNDS like a hammer on the scalp of your mind! Track (A) which I will call "Budd" is a long, slow smasher about that dude who shot himself in the head on live television (if you haven't seen the video, hunt it down - it is CREEPY. It's not very often you get to see a guy at the end of his rope LET GO). Then there's two faster smash-em-up noise pounders that sound like late Big Black but with just awesome drumming (probably nobody but Dale Crover hits the drums with quite as much intensity as Rey Washam). Finally, the most musical of the tracks, "Dutch Courage," ends the EP with a moody Jesus Lizard-like bass line (shocking, isn't it?) and some great classic rock riffing from the Alb-fellow. It's a short little record, but pretty much a must-own for any Steve Albini fan.

As is that Bush album he produced, I suppose. So be sure and get that one as quickly as you can, even if it requires breaking into your local record store in the middle of the night and spending several years in jail, claiming me as an accessory. But I'll be long gone by then, pal, having taken the Bush loot for myself and flown far away to China, where I will seamlessly blend in with the Asian populace through ceaseless squinting and lopping about five inches off my fuckpole.

Reader Comments

jfrankparnell@hotmail.com
Uh oh, someone replaced my EP with a live album!

joelperreault@live.com
I recommend not watching Bjork's stalker's suicide video. It is even worse than that televised Budd footage. I wish I hadn't seen it.

paulchenn_@hotmail.com
Holy shit I love this EP! I prefer this over Two Nuns. "Budd" is incredibly mezmerising (or however you type it), "Log Bass" is MOTHERFUCKING intense, I LOVE IT! Incredible drums! Interesting guitar tone, cool feedback in opening track, "Superpussy" is a nice noise punky thingy, with a kewl ending ("SUPERPUSSY! SUPERPUSSY! Superpussy! superpussy! superpussy, superpussy..").. "Dutch Courage" is quite interesting, I really dig the bass drum riff from the intro, and I like (what I can decipher off) the lyrics. Probably a medium-high 9. Really love it! You're right when you say it's a must-own for any Albini fan!

On a related note, I got depressed as fuck after watching the Budd Dwyer suicide footage. it's just shocking. shocking as fuck. I don't dare to watch the Bjork stalker video the guy above me is talking about now..

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Two Nuns And A Pack Mule - Touch And Go 1988.
Rating = 7

Named after a '70s European bestiality magazine, Two Nuns And A Pack Mule just isn't Albini at his best. It's definitely his most classic-rock-influenced record ever, which is really interesting meshed with his insanely underground, piercing guitar tone. HOWEVER, too many of the songs degenerate into tuneless, boring smashing and bashing. The noise on Budd still at least followed a discernible pattern - what you might call a noise "riff." But stuff like "Marmoset" and "Hated Chinee" on here - even if you try to find a riff in there, all you'll find are a couple of boring chords being beaten into the ground over and over again while Steve screams in a stupid, undramatic manner. Disappointing.

Not a total failure though, obviously. There are moments of "figpuck" greatness on here, especially the anti-vegetarian "Steak And Black Onions," which begins the record with the stirring couplet, "Why don't you stuff it, man/You plant-eating pussy!" and the album-closer "Trouser Minnow," a sincerely Foghat-esque slow boogie tune in which Steve takes on the role of a woman whose lover is a lazy worthless jerk. The cover of ZZ Top's "Just Got Paid" is also an unexpected treat (man, that's just a GREAT riff!).

So that's how I feel this evening, and have felt ever since I first heard this album in college. Unlike Big Black, the noise here seems extraneous - almost like it's there simply because that's what the fans expect. When they actually DO play music though, the neat classic rock hooks, combined with Steve's hateful underground sensibility, make for some wackass dope, J-man!

I had a hilarious dream last night, though it presented itself as a nightmare. Let's discuss it. I looked at my chest and noticed, amidst my manly collection of hair, that two PLANTS were growing out of my chest! I was of course very upset and tried to get in touch with my doctor, but it was so late in the day, they were closed. So I had to go to a science class and ask if anybody could explain it. Luckily, somebody could. Apparently a scientist had recently discovered that the equation for this biological anomaly was as follows: OVERACTIVE BRAIN ACTIVITY + TOO MUCH FUDGE + SPRINGTIME = PLANTS GROWING OUT OF YOUR CHEST. The cure apparently just involved coating the local area with benzoyl peroxide and squeezing the plants out as one might do a pimple. At this point, a few other people in the class admitted that they too had plants growing out of their chest, but they had been too ashamed to admit it. One guy had a veritable GARDEN under his chin!

I also had a nightmare that I lent my dog to somebody in the subway station that I thought was Joey Ramone. When I got home and realized that Joey Ramone was dead and I had no idea who my dog was, I became very very upset, knowing that I would likely never see my dog again. It was horrible. On a related note, I spontaneously burst out into tears today at the thought of my puppy dying. He's getting fixed tomorrow and I know it's a simple operation that must be performed, but something could always go wrong and I would miss my little puppy so much. Sure, he can be annoying sometimes, but he's a sweet, loving, funny little furry man that I want to have in my life for as long as possible. I don't want him to die. Please protect him, watch over him and love him with all your heart.

Reader Comments

InMyEyes82@aol.com (Zach English)
"Marmoset" rocks like a plastic bear full of honey being squeezed by Don Knotts but the rest of this shit can go jump in a lake. If you want to hear this Midwestern aggro-hate-fuck-rock done right, pick up something by the Jesus Lizard or Six Finger Satellite. A bunch of these songs remind me of Scratch Acid, another sub-Big Black/sub-TJL band. Ho hum, another dogmatically underground noise band fronted by a self-righteous little twerp. As if there weren't enough of those around.

atewaysatan@hotmail.com (Lord Kennedy)
What's the deal with Kim Gordons Underpants anyway? Honestly, i would like to know.

dedellinger@blazenet.net (Dietrich Dellinger)
The story on Kim Gordon's Panties: Apparently at an early Rapeman show Kim took off her panties and threw them at Albini Tom Jones style as a joke because Albini was so...well...Albini. At least that's the story I read in a zine ages ago...

andy@theleeches.com
I saw Rapeman opening for Sonic Youth in London, 1988. As revenge for "Kim Gordon's Panties" Sonic Youth, in their encore, tied Albini up with guitar cords & kicked his sorry ass around the stage for 10 minutes. Now why don't they do shit like that anymore?

jfrankparnell@hotmail.com
Andy, to answer your question - Sonic Youth don't do things like that anymore because they are too busy shitting their collective Depends(TM) and making the same album over and over again.

astris@pacbell.net
This record is good. This record is great. If I listen to it once more. My mind, it will fucking extirpate. Besides which this record overshadows all of Big Black's work (with the exception of that adorable Bulldozer EP). Not in any way as jejune as you "Behotches" put it, but the wry, candour, density, intensity, sonorous vibe of Big Black and Shellac is quite amiss. Or perhaps it is more present here then in any other recorded peice of recorded human knoledge in the streching chronicles of basic existence. Not being the argumentative type I can live with both. Listen to Jandek as always, you will never forgive yourself. They all hated Jesus.

kenchanningphd@gmail.com
Hi, we've started a resource site on The Rapeman (manga) rapeman.idea-bot.com

I suppose in many ways the reaction to the manga's name was mirrored by that of the band. If you could pass the site along to anyone with any insights or anecdotes in that regard, or help with translation, that would be great.

thepublicimage79@hotmail.com
Despite the awful name, this just may be the Albini album for me. God, it rocks harder than anything he's ever done, and rules: his guitar just sounds so weird - but great - with Scratch Acid's rhythm section banging away behind him. While David Wm. Sims is a fantastic bassist, with that inimitable scratchy hammering sound in full force, I think a lot of the credit for why this album sounds so good has to go to Rey Washam. Jesus, WHAT a drummer...the man plays beats that practically swing, while smashing the living shit out of the drumset, and then just blasts away practically unhinged. Now the only thing I'm wishing is that Albini would put some bass into his guitar tone; these songs would sound even better if the guitar tone was a little heavier. The riffs aren't at all terrible, either. There are some intros which are a little annoying ("Monobrow"), but they always resolve into great rockers. At times, Albini's love for pissing people off can make the lyrics a mite sophomoric ("Hated Chinee"), but even at his worst lyrically here he's better than some of the things he did with Big Black. Also, before I forget, the cover of ZZ Top's "Just Got Paid" is hilarious, and features a great Albini solo to boot! Albini also sings it in a semi-"hoarse" voice that may or may not be a tribute to Billy Gibbons.

My favorites are "Steak and Black Onions," "Upbeat," "Coition Ignition Mission," "Kim Gordon's Panties" (described in the lyrics as a "blatant Coachmen ripoff" - that's pretty good), "Hated Chinee," "Marmoset," "Just Got Paid," and "Trouser Minnow." These are all really great songs, and I would give the LP a 9 or so. "Trouser Minnow" is a fantastic semi-boogie with distorted bass! I love distorted bass, especially when it's used in a bridge and chorus this good.

The "Budd" EP is startling and brilliant as well. Mostly (all?) live, it has four songs that smash and crash with stupendous heaviness. Just listen to Albini's voice dripping venom on "Budd" (which admittedly takes a while to get going): "Motherfucker! Sweats like a pig, fat as all hell, laugh at him, fat as all hell, he is my god, he is pristine, he is pure..." oooohhhh yeah.

nineinchgoth@hotmail.com
You're dead on with this one. At the time I purchased this, I was a confused teenager who was heavily into industrial and noise rock. Being a fan of Big Black, I sought out Rapeman for more of the same. I was severely disappointed. The BUDD tracks were much better in comparison, and it's a good thing the CD reissue included them. The only real standout for me was/is "Steak and Black Onions", and that's probably because it's the one track that sounded the most like Big Black.

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Inki's Butt Crack - Sub Pop 1989
Rating = 5

RAPEMAN
by Ray Davies and Steve Albini

I think Iím sophisticated
ícos I based "Inki's Butt Crack"
on an old song by Mendelssohn
But all around me
everybody is confiding that
it just sounds like Fugazi, man
So Iím no better than
The Animals featuring
Eric Burdon or The Who, man
ícos compared to Robin Trower
and The Byrds and The Freeze,
I am in Rapeman

I think Iím so educated
and Iím so clever 'cos the
second song is named "Song Number One"
But with dull instrumentation,
repetition and negation,
it's not a whole lot of fuckin fun
I used to write great songs in Big Black
In a couple of years, I'm gonna form Shellac
But for now I'll just make my guitar go 'Scrack!'
'cuz I'm still in Rapeman

I'm in Rapeman,
I'm in Rape- Rapeman,
I'm in Rapeman
I'm a noisemaking man
in a mediocre band
I'm in Rapeman
ícos compared to Atomizer,
this single's the pits
The songs start great,
but quickly turn to shits
There aren't even any vocals
Believe me, they're not hits!
Because I'm in Rapeman

La la la la la la la.... La la Fuck you.

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