Album: Two Nuns And A Pack Mule
Rapeman only lasted for one album, but what an album it was. The trio, made up of Steve Albini (Big Black, Shellac, famed/hated producer), Rey Washam (Scratch Acid, Big Boys), and David Wm. Sims (Scratch Acid, Jesus Lizard) and named after a Japanese comic book character, may actually have been the best of Steve Albini's bands. They were fulll of inside jokes of which the band name was only the first (the album title came from a 70's German bestiality magazine, the song "Kim Gordon's Panties" is about a Sonic Youth concert Steve went to where Kim threw her panties into the crowd and is performed as a Sonic Youth homage, etc.).
Fans of Steve Albini have an idea of what to expect from this album, but for anyone new, here's a briefing. Assaultive, unrelenting guitar noise over pummeling drums. However, Big Black fans will notice a few differences this time around. For one, there's a real, live drummer in the band. David Wm. Sims provides off-kilter, irregular drum attacks that push everything forward as Albini lays down all his noise. Another difference is that Albini's vocals are, well, more vocal now. In Big Black, he just spoke his vocals in a monotone with no feeling or emotion. Here he cuts loose, some songs screaming away and others nearly (but not quite) singing. Albini is hailed as a guitar god in the noise rock world, and this album may give you some idea why. It's not because he solos or gets technical or does any extended wankery. No, Albini has the ability to coax sounds and tones out of a guitar that you weren't aware could come out of it. The guitar on this album alternately scrapes, grinds, drones, and twists in ways I haven't heard since. The album also contains one of my favorite covers, a surprisingly straight interpretation of "Just Got Paid" by ZZ Top. Essential.
By P. Segal