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Rapeman: Wikis


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Origin Chicago, Illinios, United States
Genres Alternative rock, noise rock
Years active 1987–1989
Labels Touch and Go
Associated acts Big Black
Big Boys
The Jesus Lizard
Scratch Acid
Former members
Steve Albini
David Wm. Sims
Rey Washam

Rapeman was an American noise rock group 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."[1] 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 protesters, 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 band's style at times was reminiscent of more traditional noise punk, at other times cranky art-rock. Their sound gave center stage to the signature guitar style of Albini.

The band broke up for personal reasons, but not, as has been rumoured, over a dispute relating to their name. Albini launched an extensive and successful career as a recording engineer and played bass with Flour before going on to form Shellac. Sims reunited with ex-Scratch Acid vocalist David Yow to form The Jesus Lizard.


All originally released on Touch and Go Records in the US, Blast First! in the UK and AuGoGo in Australia unless otherwise indicated. 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.


  1. ^ Interview with Steve Albini (1994-05-06). "Steve discusses the naming of Big Black and Rapeman". Action Park, quoting Rock Names by Adam Dolgins. Retrieved 2007-05-21.  
  2. ^ a b Lazell, Barry (1997) Indie Hits 1980 - 1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-95172-069-4

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