Rapeman – Two Nuns and a Packmule (1988) Blast First

This may in fact be the  best hardcore/alt-rock/punk record that came out in the late 1980’s. Rapeman were a supergroup of sorts founded by Steve Albini after the implosion of Big Black. Albini chose to  name his new venture after  a rather charming Japanese comic book in which the protaganist would you know what the villians. Frightful premise and bless his cotton socks, Albini, despite all the controversy the band name generated during their short life span, certainly defended his choice of name at the time. The controversy was played out every week in the NME during their short UK tour in 1989. In fact Blast First’s pressing plant employees refused to handle the record in  protest of their name. The band were picketted throughout their tour and they eventually broke after releasing their one and only album. I sold my rather snappy vinyl copy of this many years ago and my mate Doc brought this back from the States with him in the late 1990’s. The great thing about the CD version is the inclusion of the  amazing Budd E.P. which arguably is Rapeman’s finest moment.

I remember first hearing Rapeman on my 17th birthday. In the redneck bullshit town I grew up in there was one sparsely stocked import record store. It mainly stocked all of the Australian underground stuff coming out on Citadel, Au Go Go and Red Eye but it also had it’s fair share of Blast First and SST releases. To be honest I’d never heard any of the stuff but used to go in every Friday night and paw over these records I had little chance of hearing. My mates (probably sick of having to go into that shop with me) took me inthere on my birthday and bought me Budd. I think it was the first time I realised that music could have  so much power and be almost completely devoid of a tune. I flogged that EP to death before finally ordering a copy of Two Nuns and a Packmule. 

The one thing about Two Nuns and a Packmule is that despite the dodgy titles of the songs Albini liberally takes the piss out of himself. On one track he threatens violence before realising that he is a nerdy geek who is going to get flattened should he go through with his threat. Rapeman certainly  generate a big fucking noise and I’ve always preferred Two Nuns and a Packmule to most of the stuff Albini did with Big Black. I don’t doubt that had they chosen a safer name it certainly would have been heard by far more people. It’s a shame that more people haven’t heard this, but if you have any interest in the Touch and Go/Chicago hardcore scene of the late 1980’s this has to be a definite add to your collection.

One Response to “Rapeman – Two Nuns and a Packmule (1988) Blast First”

  1. just been blowing the dust of my old LP’s….
    Waaaay down here in little old NZ, before the interweb tubes ever got here, i was rocking out to “Budd”. threw the grapevine we heard it was about some dude who shot himself on TV, but it never was on the telly here.
    It took me until 2009 when i pulled out the EP to finally wonder “Who was the Budd guy”? 20 seconds later i wished i never had found that flv, haha!

    Long live Rapeman!!!!

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