One of Steve Albini’s many groups, Rapeman made one album and an EP (both are included on the CD). Probably the most striking thing about this CD is Albini’s guitar which is so sharp it practically hurts (and when your guitar is more notable than the lyrics from a band named Rapeman, you know that sound is pretty striking). [You can hear hints of this sound on Nirvana’s In Utero (which Albini produced), particularly the screamy parts of “Scentless Apprentice”. The template is the same, although Nirvana’s drums are much much bigger. And, of course, Albini leaves the sonic edge really sharp for himself].
Although the guitar is what really stands out on this disc, the album would be far less interesting if the rhythm section wasn’t so strong. The bass is mixed really well, running lines that are never in concert with the guitar lines but which blend nicely and provide some needed low end. And the drums are sharp and punctuate the noise perfectly.
The opening of “Monobrow” is squeaks and feedback (I wonder if you could even write the music for it). When the rhythm kick in, it gives a herky jerky momentum. There’s an interesting twist on a song like “Trouser Minnow” which is written from a woman’s perspective (and yet she’s not an exemplary woman either) so you can read it a couple of ways. Of course, the opener, “Steak and Black Onions” is unequivocal: “Why don’t you snuff it man, you plant-eating pussy.”
But there’s definitely a sense of humor to all of this. In “Up beat” Albini gets angry and suggests that he’d beat a guy up. It ends, “I suppose I’m not too threatening presently. But wait till I start Nautilus.” There’s also something funny (I think) about them covering ZZ Top’s “Just Got Paid.” Funny or not, this version rocks like no one’s business, and it shows that Albini can actually play the guitar, not just make noise.
The Budd EP was recorded live. I love the description of the review here. It sounds less screechy (and more bass heavy), but no less menacing.
[READ: September, 16, 2010] The Wasp Factory
I bought this book many many years ago (I found a card in the pages from when I used to live in Brighton, MA (circa 1992) as a “bookmark.” But I think that the bookmark must have been not a real placeholder as nothing in the book was familiar, I just knew that it was supposed to be a dark, disturbing book.
And so it is.
The story concerns Frank, a 16-year-old who lives on an island outside of Scotland (my knowledge of Scottish geography is awful, so I don’t know exactly what he meant by an island, but suffice it to say that Frank’s family is isolated where they live). Frank is a disturbed individual. As the story opens, we learn that death and carnage follow Frank everywhere. In fact, Frank admits responsibility for three of these deaths. (more…)