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Rapeman circa 1988
|Origin||Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|Genres||Post-hardcore, noise rock|
Rapeman was an American noise rock band founded in 1987 and disbanded in 1989. It consisted of Steve Albini (formerly of Big Black) on guitar and vocals, David Wm. Sims (formerly of Scratch Acid) on bass and Rey Washam (formerly of Scratch Acid and Big Boys) on drums. Their sound was also described as post-hardcore.
Noise rock is a noise-oriented style of experimental rock that spun off from punk rock in the 1980s. Drawing on movements such as minimalism, industrial music, and New York hardcore, artists indulge in extreme levels of distortion through the use of electric guitars and, less frequently, electronic instrumentation, either to provide percussive sounds or to contribute to the overall arrangement.
Steven Albini is an American musician, record producer, audio engineer and music journalist. He was a member of Big Black, Rapeman and Flour, and is a member of Shellac. He is the founder, owner and principal engineer of Electrical Audio, a recording studio complex in Chicago. In 2018, Albini estimated that he had worked on several thousand albums during his career. He has had major influence on the development of genres such as noise rock, post-hardcore and math rock.
Big Black was an American punk rock band from Evanston, Illinois, active from 1981 to 1987. Founded by singer and guitarist Steve Albini, the band's initial lineup also included guitarist Santiago Durango and bassist Jeff Pezzati, both of Naked Raygun. In 1985, Pezzati was replaced by Dave Riley, who played on Big Black's two full-length studio albums, Atomizer (1986) and Songs About Fucking (1987).
Rapeman was formed in 1987. The band's name was controversial. In an interview, Albini reported that "'Rapeman' is ... the title character in a Japanese comic book that I had come across through a friend of mine. The comic book is just a total mind-bender. There's a whole genre of comics in Japan, rape stories where women are raped in really graphic detail for whatever reason".Albini and Washam became "sort of obsessed" with the comic, and named their new group after the titular antihero.
The Rapeman is a Japanese satirical–black comedy manga series. It is credited as being created and written by Keiko Aisaki, and illustrated by Shintaro Miyawaki, and ran from 1985 to 1992. The series was discontinued after 13 volumes.
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.
A comic book or comicbook, also called comic magazine or simply comic, is a publication that consists of comic art in the form of sequential juxtaposed panels that represent individual scenes. Panels are often accompanied by brief descriptive prose and written narrative, usually, dialog contained in word balloons emblematic of the comics art form. Although comics has some origins in 18th century Japan, comic books were first popularized in the United States and the United Kingdom during the 1930s. The first modern comic book, Famous Funnies, was released in the U.S. in 1933 and was a reprinting of earlier newspaper humor comic strips, which had established many of the story-telling devices used in comics. The term comic book derives from American comic books once being a compilation of comic strips of a humorous tone; however, this practice was replaced by featuring stories of all genres, usually not humorous in tone.
Rapeman's performances would often be the target of protesters who felt that the band was mocking or even encouraging rape and violence against women. Albini rejected such criticisms, arguing that punk ideology is generally very sympathetic to feminism, and stated that he feels that "[i]t is imperative for an artist to be honest, to respect the creative impulse, wherever that may go. Anything less is just decoration or inconsequential humming. Sometimes the resulting art is repugnant, but I believe the world is better for it, that it is made richer by having those thoughts explored".
Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the genders. This includes fighting gender stereotypes and seeking to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to those for men.
Rapeman's initial 1988 releases included the Budd EP, the "Hated Chinee" 7" single and their sole album, Two Nuns and a Pack Mule . All were originally released on Touch and Go Records in the US, Blast First! in the UK and Au Go Go in Australia. Rapeman left Blast First! in 1990 after Albini had an argument with the label over the release of a Big Black record. Touch and Go started distributing in the UK in 1992 and re-released Rapeman's records.
Budd is the first release by the Chicago noise rock band Rapeman. The first three songs on the EP were recorded live. The title is a reference to Budd Dwyer, a politician who committed suicide during a televised press conference. The lyrics of the title track contain references to phrases used during the incident.
Two Nuns and a Pack Mule is the first and only album by the Chicago noise rock band Rapeman, released by Touch & Go Records on August 23, 1988. The CD re-release contained the Budd extended play in its entirety.
Touch and Go Records is an American independent record label based in Chicago, Illinois. After its genesis as a handmade fanzine in 1979, it grew into one of the key record labels in the American 1980s underground and alternative rock scenes. Touch & Go carved out a reputation for releasing adventurous noise rock by the likes of the Butthole Surfers, Big Black, and The Jesus Lizard. Along with other independent American labels such as Twin/Tone, SST Records, and Dischord, Touch & Go helped to spearhead the nationwide network of underground bands that formed the pre-Nirvana indie rock scene. These labels presided over the shift from the hardcore punk that then dominated the American underground scene to the more diverse styles of alternative rock that were emerging.
The band's final release before their breakup, the "Inki's Butt Crack" 7" single, was issued in 1989 as part of the Sub Pop Singles Club.
Sub Pop is a record label founded in 1986 by Bruce Pavitt. Sub Pop achieved fame in the late 1980s for signing Seattle bands such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Mudhoney, central players in the grunge movement. They are often credited with helping popularize grunge music. The label's roster includes Fleet Foxes, Foals, Beach House, The Postal Service, Flight of the Conchords, Sleater-Kinney, Blitzen Trapper, Father John Misty, Shabazz Palaces, METZ, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, and The Shins. In 1995 the owners of Sub Pop sold a 49% stake of the label to the Warner Music Group.
Albini later played bass with Flour before going on to form Shellac. Sims reunited with ex-Scratch Acid vocalist David Yow to form the Jesus Lizard (with Albini recording their albums).
Flour is an American band. Flour is the nickname of Minneapolis musician Pete Conway who wrote songs and played bass guitar in the bands Rifle Sport and Breaking Circus until the mid-1980s. He released four solo albums on Touch and Go Records from 1988 to 1994 on which he plays most of the instruments himself. Flour toured as a live band twice with a lineup that featured ex-Big Black guitarist Steve Albini on bass and former Breaking Circus percussionist Todd Trainer on drums before they went on to form the band Shellac. Flour's solo recordings feature the drum machine sound characteristic of Big Black and toyed with by many other independent rock bands in the Midwest during that time period. Flour's third solo album Machinery Hill was described by Allmusic's Richard Foss as "an oddball masterpiece of grinding guitar, fluid bass, hammering drums, and very creative ideas".
Shellac is an American post-hardcore band from Chicago, Illinois, composed of Steve Albini, Bob Weston and Todd Trainer and formed in 1992. Their music genre has been classified as post-hardcore and noise rock but they describe themselves as a "minimalist rock trio."
Scratch Acid was an Austin, Texas noise rock group formed in 1982. One of the pioneers of noise rock in the 1980s, the band is best remembered as a stepping stone for its front man David Yow, and bass player David Wm. Sims, both later of The Jesus Lizard.
Steve Albini is a musician and audio engineer whose many recording projects have exerted an important influence on independent music. Most of his projects from 1997 onwards were recorded at the Electrical Audio studios in Chicago.
Slint was an American rock band consisting of Brian McMahan, David Pajo (guitar), Britt Walford, Todd Brashear, and Ethan Buckler. They formed in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, in 1986. Slint's first album Tweez was recorded by engineer Steve Albini in 1987 and released in obscurity on the Jennifer Hartman Records label in 1989. It was followed two years later by the critically acclaimed Spiderland, released on the independent label Touch and Go Records.
The Jesus Lizard is an American rock band formed in 1987 in Austin, Texas and based in Chicago, Illinois. They were "a leading noise rock band in the American independent underground…[who] turned out a series of independent records filled with scathing, disembowelling, guitar-driven pseudo-industrial noise, all of which received positive reviews in underground music publications and heavy college-radio play."
The Big Boys were a pioneering punk rock band who are credited with having helped to create and introduce hardcore punk as a new style of music, which became popular in the 1980s.
Killdozer was an American rock band, formed in Madison, Wisconsin in 1983, with members Bill Hobson, Dan Hobson and Michael Gerald. They took their name from the 1974 TV movie, directed by Jerry London, itself based on a Theodore Sturgeon short story. They released their first album, Intellectuals are the Shoeshine Boys of the Ruling Elite, in the same year. The band split in 1990 but reformed in 1993, losing guitarist Bill Hobson and gaining Paul Zagoras, and continued until they split up in 1996. Their farewell tour was officially titled "Fuck You, We Quit!", and included Erik Tunison of Die Kreuzen in place of Dan Hobson on drums and Jeff Ditzenberger on additional guitar. The band released nine albums, including a post-breakup live CD, The Last Waltz.
Santiago Durango is a Colombian guitarist remembered for his work with the 1980s punk rock groups Naked Raygun and Big Black. Mostly retired from music as of the early 2000s, he works as an attorney.
David Yow is an American musician and actor born in Las Vegas, Nevada and best known as the vocalist for the noise rock bands Scratch Acid and The Jesus Lizard. Yow's debut solo album, Tonight You Look Like a Spider, was released in June 2013 on Joyful Noise Records.
Rey Washam is a drummer who has been performing for more than 35 years. He has collaborated with many bands, the most notable of which include: Scratch Acid, Rapeman, Ministry, the Big Boys, Helios Creed, the Didjits, Lard, and Tad and Butthole Surfers offshoot Daddy Longhead. When Jason Schwartzman of Phantom Planet left that band, Washam was hired to fill in on drums for a tour which never materialized. Washam also played jazz with a band, Euripides Pants, that recorded an unreleased album.
Blast First is a sub label of one-time independent record label Mute Records, founded in approximately 1985. It was named after a phrase taken from the first number of the radical Vorticist journal Blast, published by Wyndham Lewis in 1914. Lewis's "Manifesto" begins with the words "BLAST First ENGLAND".
Scratch Acid is the self-titled debut by the Austin, Texas noise rock band Scratch Acid. It was only released on vinyl, but now can be found as the first 8 tracks on the compilation album The Greatest Gift.
Berserker is an EP, the final release by Austin, Texas noise rock band Scratch Acid. Although it is now out of print, it can be found as tracks 22-27 on the compilation album The Greatest Gift.
Drunk Tank was a noise rock group formed in Chicago, Illinois and active between 1989 and 1992. Although the band was short lived, their few releases garnered them favorable reviews. The band's earliest incarnation featured drummer and percussionist Lou Ciccotelli, who would become recognized for his involvement in God, Laika and Ice.
[...]This is understandable, considering what end of the spectrum Albini hails from. The guy once fronted a post-hardcore outfit called Rapeman and has written too many scathing punk indictments of mainstream society to count. [...]