1988, Music

Two Nuns and a Pack Mule (1988) by Rapeman

Is it possible to talk about this band without talking about their name? Let’s try.

Note: I have listened to the extended version of this album because the way I was listening to it provided no track listing and I didn’t count tracks as I was listening, inevitably listening to the bonus tracks without realizing it.

I haven’t listened to Big Black in a while, but my initial impression of Rapeman is that they are Big Black minus one guitar and with an actual drummer. If you like Big Black that may or may not be appealing, depending upon whether or not you think this kind of music is better with a drum machine or a real drummer. (If you thought a defining feature of Big Black was its reliance on a drum machine, well then this record might come as a disappointment.) If you don’t like Big Black…well, you’re unlikely to like Rapeman.

I generally like Albini as a producer of other people’s records, but I don’t generally like his own production work. This record sounds (deliberately) awful, and it’s often hard to make out the vocals. So whatever humour is contained in the lyrics, I missed. (Yes, there is humour here. They even provided jokier second titles to their songs.) It’s likely partially from listening to it on YouTube, but it’s a pretty terrible listening experience, even if that’s the point.

All and all, I can’t shake the feeling of deja vu, as if I’ve heard this band before. Even if the lineup is different than Big Black and they do perform slightly different music, it feels to me as if it’s just a lesser version of that band. And that doesn’t do much for me I must say.

6/10

All songs written by Rapeman, except where noted.

  1. “Steak and Black Onions” – 2:47
  2. “Monobrow” – 3:45
  3. “Up Beat” – 2:15
  4. “Coition Ignition Mission” – 2:23
  5. “Kim Gordon’s Panties” – 4:17
  6. “Hated Chinee” – 2:01
  7. “Radar Love Lizard” – 1:50
  8. “Marmoset” – 2:12
  9. “Just Got Paid” – 3:35 (originally by ZZ Top)
  10. “Trouser Minnow” – 4:06
  • Steve Albini – guitar, vocals
  • David Wm. Sims – bass guitar, co-vocals on “Just Got Paid”
  • Rey Washam – drums

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