Rapeman spits out sparks with the conviction of Albini’s acerbic intelligence. – Trouser Press
Originally Published On: 11/22/2008
Controversially named Rapeman was a short-lived 80s supegroup of sorts that included Steve Albini (Big Black,Shellac), David Wm. Sims (Big Boys, Scratch Acid, Dijits) and Rey Washam (Scratch Acid, Jesus Lizard).
Their name was based on a character from Japanese comic book that Albini once came across and the band was often targeted by protesters who claimed that they glorified rape/violence against women. In England, their show was nearly canceled because of a proposed boycott.The resulting controversy, however, also meant bigger audiences for the band.
Rapeman’s lyrics were peppered with inside jokes – “Kim Gordon Panties” was named after the fact that band members decided that it sounds like a song that Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth could come up with and also the fact that Albini had actually seen Gordon throwing panties into the audience at a couple of shows. Inki’s Butt Crack from their final single was a variation on one of Mendehlsonn’s overtures and the song was credited to John Spencer, Thurston Moore and J. Mascis, who, of course, were not real members of the band.
Their debut was 1988 “Budd” EP, named after R. Budd Dwyer, an American politician who committed suicide in front of cameras. All Music Guide commented that “Budd is one uncompromising release” which “strips out whatever melodic and rhythmic consistency Albini had expressed in his music and churns out unremitting, unstructured noise.”
In the end, however, AMG concluded that “without much in the way of structures or melodies to hold them together, the EP’s four songs come off as interesting ideas jumbled together. Even with its abbreviated length, Budd is ultimately too incoherent and chaotic to truly appeal to all but the most fervent Albini disciples.”
Their first (and only) full-length “Two Nuns And A Pack Mule” came out on Touch & Go label in 1989. AMG commented that “The sole full-length record from Steve Albini’s razor-honed thrash trio varies in its attack in ways Albini’s old trio Big Black never did; the demented rhythms constantly threaten to veer out of control, and Albini’s guitar screeches like something rabid and bloodthirsty.”
Sputnikmusic website commented on the album – “Boasting raw, serrated guitars matched with thunderous drumming Two Nuns, and A Pack Mule is one abrasive ride.” and while its “certainly isn’t the most unique effort that Steve Albini has been involved in but it really brings the chaos.”
The band dissolved in 1989 due to personal conflicts (and not due to rumored dispute over the name) and Albini went on to form Shellac (and he also produced countless bands from Wedding Present to Pixies to Nirvana), while David Wm. Sims joined Jesus Lizard and Rey Washam joined Ministry.
Budd 12″ (Touch And Go, 1988 / Blast First, 1988 / Torso, 1988)
Hated Chinee / Marmoset 7″ (Touch And Go, 1988 / Blast First, 1988)
Two Nuns And A Pack Mule LP / CD (Touch And Go, 1988 / Torso, 1988 / Blast First, 1988)
Inki’s Butt Crack / Song Number One 7″ (Sub Pop, 1989)
“Dutch Courage” on Nothing Short Of Total War Pt.1 (LP version) (Blast First, 1989 / Torso, 1989)
“Bud(d)” on Indie Top 20 Volume V| – Pride Of The Independents (Beechwood Music, 1989)
“Dutch Courage” + “Just Got Paid Today” on Nothing Short Of Total War Pt.1 (CD version) (Blast First, 1989)