Man Is the Bastard were an American pioneering hardcore punk band who contributed the name, and perhaps also the ethos, to the punk subgenre known as power violence. Based in Claremont, California, the band existed from 1990 to 1997, releasing many vinyl records on obscure labels from around the world.
The bass-heavy configuration was found in earlier projects by founding members Joel Connell, Eric Wood, & Shawn Connell. Their thematic emphasis on the primitive and mythological would continue in Man Is the Bastard records such as "Sum of the Men" and the split album with Bleeding Rectum. The fullest expression of these concerns appeared with the 7 inch EP entitled "Backward Species," which combined an almost anthropological/New Historicist approach to humanity's violent practices. Songs such as "Koro Treatment" and "Heretic's Fork" are exemplary.
Artistically most of their releases had a similar design, with their trademark skull on both sides of the words Man Is The Bastard with the release title underneath in quotations. Frequently the liner notes would be just as simplistic. When they did have artwork it was often stark and brutal with a barebones layout.
Man Is the Bastard family tree:
In addition to the bands accomplishments, Man Is the Bastard exist as a nucleus around which many prominent bands can be traced within a recognizable lineage: Cyclops, Pillsbury Hardcore, Peace Corpse, Pissed Happy Children, Charred Remains, Neanderthal, No Comment, Loomis Slovak, Atavism of Twilight, Djam Karet, Amps for Christ, Lux Nova Umbra Est, and more.
In the years since, Man Is the Bastard has splintered off into several working factions. Wood occasionally performs in the Los Angeles area as Bastard Noise. Kenyon and Connel have soldiered on in progressive rock acts such as Controlling Hand and Lux Nova Umbra Est. Perhaps the biggest surprise is Barnes' Amps for Christ, which has blossomed into a highly regarded folk/noise hybrid.
Man Is the Bastard's lyrical violence was balanced by their adamant advocacy of progressive ideals. This record of political activism resulted in their most widely available album, 1997's split LP with death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.
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