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Chicago, Illinois, United States (1987 – 1989)

Rapeman was an American post-hardcore music group from Chicago, Illinois, United States 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.

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, and it’s an amazing thing that this is just an accepted part of their sort of normal popular culture.” Albini and Washam became “sort of obsessed” with the comic, and named their new group after the titular antihero.

Rapeman’s performances would often be the target of protestors, who felt that the band was mocking or even encouraging rape and violence against women. Albini has described such criticisms as idiotic, arguing that punk ideology is generally very sympathetic to feminism.

The playing style at times was reminiscent of more traditional noise punk (as on “Up Beat”), at other times cranky art-rock (as on “Monobrow”), their sound gave centre stage to the signature guitar style of Albini.


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