Rapegoat: S/T

Something about this album made me hate it at first (editor), and it seems to be an unusual conflict we usually don’t see around here.  This was largely due to the appearance of the “should I review this?” question because I know one of the guys in it.  But in our quest to be completely objective, I went forward, and I’ve even broken our law of “no first-person” just to make a point.  Friendship does not equal a good review, a good album equals a good review.  But something was keeping that from happening, was it that Rapegoat simply didn’t have what we require?  Was it the fear of friend-revenge?  Or was it that it needed to pound into our brains further to figure it out?  Nothing much to figure out with this kind of sleaze punk, really, but the whole friend thing was keeping this from happening for obvious reasons.  Luckily, however, it led to enough repeated listens that this self-titled album finally made sense, it eradicated the ‘friendship’ stigma, though not without some faults.  Rapegoat have something potentially unique going on here, and with future releases, and attention to what needs to be done, they could easily become truly what they desire to be, Satanic anus-ritual slut bags.


Rapegoat, as a package, is clean and blasphemous.  The presentation here was done by the awesome Lou Rusconi, whose artwork is known throughout the metal community, and a reviewer on here awhile ago checked out a band by the name of Cheezface where Lou had done the entire layout, based on actual artwork from the time of the Black Death.  He has this B-movie and horror comic presence, and for something aiming for Z-movie sleaze it works splendidly, and it creates probably the perfect image for these guys.  Rapegoat is sleaze punk at its most vile, and the furtherance of this theme is the fact that they’re from the backwaters of North Carolina, so it has this awesome Southern twang that should immediately draw the attention of even the most experienced of punk fans.  The vocalist, John the Baptist, has this inbred delivery that really develops the atmosphere.  As soon as the title track begins, you’re given exactly the kind of sound this image should have, so realize that as we go further with our criticisms.


The majority of punk anywhere close to this focuses on the usual horror themes, but Rapegoat references bleeding anuses, cunnilingus-turned-mustache sessions, and even Old Gregg, for some weird-ass reason.  It’s atypical, with this almost blackened approach that recalls Possessed but instead of frightening, it’s almost comical.  At first, this is largely awesome.  Baptist’s nerdy Buddy Holly/Chuck Berry vile spew is what catches your attention.  Imagine The Residents at their goofiest vocally, and put that to sleaze about Satanism and sex covered in hash browns.  The music is what you expect from hardcore types of punk; angry, fast, direct, but thankfully recorded properly so you can really sense the bass and guitar.  However, the big issue keeping Rapegoat from perfection is the semblance between tracks.  After one or two, the concept is similitude.  At times Baptist even goes off-tempo with the music, probably accidentally, and other times you wish he’d just do something else.  His particular delivery is novel, for the most part, but what it needs is more variety.  Musically it’s where it needs to be, but the vocals need to step it up.  Some wails, shrieks, roars, any of that, would make them truly the Satanic anal fistula-worshiping band they seek to be.  It shouldn’t take much to get there, and in its current manifestation sleaze and horror fans, as well as the usual punks, should get a real kick to the ass out of it.


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Written by Stanley Stepanic

Rapegoat: S/T
Mystery School Records
4 / 5