Man Is the Bastard

Man Is the Bastard
Also known as Charred Remains
Origin Claremont, California, USA
Genres Power violence
Hardcore punk
Crust punk
Years active 1991–1997
Past members
Henry Barnes
Andy Beattie
Joel Connell
Aaron Kenyon
Israel Lawrence
Bill Nelson
Eric Wood

Man Is the Bastard were a 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 1991 to 1997, releasing many vinyl records on obscure labels from around the world.



In stark contrast to other punk musicians, Man Is the Bastard made the move of displacing the electric guitar from its long reign as the primary instrument of punk aggression[citation needed]. In turn, they made room within their revolutionary spirit for progressive bass chords and scales, for industrial noise (field recordings and power electronics), and for member Henry Barnes’ (Amps for Christ) homemade guitar reconfigurations.

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, Infest, No Comment, Loomis Slovak, Atavism of Twilight, Bastard Noise, Born Against, Djam Karet, Amps for Christ, Lux Nova Umbra Est, Our Scars are Gifts, 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.

Political message

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. They also frequently used ideas from obscure medical conditions in their songs and artwork.

The band often sublimated political concerns into a harsh and unique aesthetic. For example, during the first Gulf War, one of their releases featured cover art depicting Saddam Hussein being sodomized by George H.W. Bush.


Original lineup

  • Shawn Connell
  • Eric Wood
  • Joel Connell
  • Henry Barnes
  • Aaron Kenyon

Later members

  • Bill Nelson
  • Andrew Beattie
  • Isreal Lawrence


  • Sum of the Men LP (1991, Vermiform Records 009)
    • reissued in 1996 on CD by Vermiform Records
  • Abundance of Guns 7” (1992, MITB/S.O.A. Records (Italy))
    • Wood’s version has an extra song
  • Aunt Mary/Man Is the Bastard split 7" with Aunt Mary (1992, MITB)
    • reissued in 1996 by Deep Six Records
  • Uncivilized Live 7” (1992, Deep Six Records)
  • Bizarre Uproar/Man Is the Bastard split 7" with Bizarre Uproar (1993, MITB)
  • Bleeding Rectum/Man Is the Bastard split LP with Bleeding Rectum (1993, MITB)
  • Crossed Out/Man Is the Bastard split 7" with Crossed Out (1993, Slap-A-Ham Records)
  • Man Is the Bastard/Pink Flamingos split 7" with Pink Flamingos (1993, Farewell Records)
  • Main Is the Bastard/Unseen Noise Death split 7” with Unseen Noise Death (1993, MITB)
  • Agathocles/Man Is the Bastard split 7" with Agathocles (1994, Pessimiser Records/Theologian Records)
  • Born Against/Man Is the Bastard split 8" with Born Against (1994, Vermiform Records)
    • test pressing is 10” vinyl
  • Capitalist Casualties/Man Is the Bastard split LP with Capitalist Casualties (1994, Six Weeks Records)
  • Man Is the Bastard/Sinking Body split 7” with Sinking Body (1994, Vermiform Records)
  • D.I.Y.C.D. anthology CD + previously unreleased songs (1995, Slap-A-Ham Records)
    • reissued in 2000 by Slap-A-Ham Records 022
    • reissued in 2006 by Deep Six Records
  • The Locust/Man Is the Bastard split 10" with The Locust (1995, King of the Monsters Records 002)
  • Thoughtless... LP picture disc (1995, Gravity Records 022)
    • reissued on CD in 1996 by Gravity Records
  • Man Is the Bastard/Mumia Abu-Jamal split LP/CD with Mumia Abu-Jamal (1997, Alternative Tentacles)
  • Mancruel CD (2000, Deep Six Records)
    • contains three previously unreleased Bastard Noise tracks and one new Man Is The Bastard track

Unknown year of release

  • Bastard Noise/Man Is the Bastard split LP with Bastard Noise (Vibrator Records)
  • Backward Species 7” (Ecocentric Records)
  • Our Earth’s Blood part I 7” (Vermiform Records)
  • Upcoming issue of unreleased tracks on Deep Six Records

Compilation appearances

  • In the Spirit of Total Resistance 2x7" (1992, Profane Existence)
  • Reality 7" (1992, Deep Six Records 005)
    • Side B Track 02 - "Tomb Ride"
  • Son of Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh! 7" (1992, Slap-A-Ham Records)
  • Fear of Smell LP (1993, Vermiform Records)
  • Revive Us Again 7" (1993, Machination Records)
    • "Funeral For Cargo" and "Goodbye"
  • Cataclastic Fracture (a noise collection) CD (1994, Deadline Recordings/Lazy Squid Records)
    • Track 33 - "Human Plecostomus"
  • Anger and English 2x7" (1995, Frame Work Records 002)
  • Cry Now, Cry Later 3 2x7" (1995, Pessimiser Records/Theologian Records)
    • Disc 01, Side A, Track 01 - "Faces of the Man"
    • reissued on CD in 1998 by Pessimiser Records as Cry Now, Cry Later Volumes 3 & 4
  • Golden Shower of 72 Hits 2xCD (1995, Lost and Found Records (Germany))
    • Disc 02 Track 35 - "... Telephone Call To Lost & Found"
  • Revenge of the Disabled Vol. 2 VHS (1995, Will o' the Wisp)
  • The Virus That Would Not Die! sampler CD (1997, Alternative Tentacles)
    • Track 22 - "Subterfuge"
  • Bottlenekk Fall '98 Sampler CD (1998, Bottlenekk Records)
    • includes the song "The Arena"
  • Reproach (8 Modern Hardcore Bands Cover Negative Approach) 7" (1998, Ugly Pop Records 001 (Canada))
  • Under Your Influence CD (2000, Tralla Records)
    • includes the song "Man Is the Bastard"
  • Jordan Downing kills more than you 7'
    • Side B, tracks 6, 7, an 8

Unknown year of release

  • Old Days Nostalgia 3xCD (S.O.A. Records (Italy))
    • reissue of Abundance of Guns 7"
  • KXLU vol. 1 CD (KXLU)
  • Reality Part 2 LP/CD (Deep Six Records)
  • Fiesta Comes Alive LP/CD (Slap-A-Ham Records)
  • No Desire to Continue Living 10" (Re-education Records/Farewell Records)
  • Ham Slappin' Hits (Slap-A-Ham C-90)

Related bands

  • Bastard Noise- Eric Wood, Bill Nelson, Henry Barnes, Israel Lawrence
  • Amps for Christ - Henry Barnes
  • Charred Remains - Eric Wood, Joel Connell, Shawn Connell
  • Neanderthal - Eric Wood
  • Pilsbury Hardcore - Eric Wood, Joel Connell, Shawn Connell
  • Pissed Happy Children - Eric Wood, Joel Connell, Shawn Connell
  • Atavism of Twilight- Aaron Kenyon
  • Cyclops- Eric Wood, Joel Connell
  • No Comment- Andrew Beattie
  • Loomis Slovak- Israel Lawrence
  • Controlling Hand- Aaron Kenyon, Joel Connell, Andrew Beattie, Israel Lawrence
  • Lux Nova Umbra Est- Aaron Kenyon, Joel Connell
  • Ion Channel- Eric Wood
  • Amber Asylum- Eric Wood
  • Our Scars are Gifts- Joel Connell

External links

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