A big paradox I face over and over again when writing about the music I write about is a nagging sense of disparity. How can some genres, with a commonly agreed and shared ethos of egalitarianism and anti-oppression, be so... monolithic? It's not a new problem, but it seems to be one that isn't changing all that rapidly. Yes, there are more than a few people who subvert the straight-male-whitebread narrative in punk, hardcore, metal, noise and all its dendritic offshoots, but it's hard to find the inclusivity of, say, disco.

One person who has dragged something special up through the manly mire - put a fist through the alabaster boredom - is Eugene S. Robinson, avant-rock's very own 'World's Most Interesting Man'. He's an author, fighter, actor, and front man of one of the most consistently engaging bands of the last three decades, Oxbow.

But first, it began with Whipping Boy, a thunderous blues punk four piece lurching Cro-Magnon like from the alumni of Stanford University. Their albums The Sound of No Hand Clapping, MuruMuru and The Third Secret of Fatima set a serious template for hardcore shooting off in different directions. It was tight and aggressive, but there was something in the way the veins popped out in Robinson's neck that was a little more deranged, a little more hysterical, a little less suburban and angry than Hank, Ian and Glenn.

This continued until '89, when Robinson and Nico Wenner started Oxbow. Their first release, Fuckfest, is exactly that. As a vocalist and lyricist, Robinson seems to subvert all the worst parts of institutionalized masculinity by making them hyper realistic. He drags the marketed ideal of manliness through the mud and shit with a throbbing erection in his hand and a banshee in his throat. All this horror and aggression made real. It's a beckoning palm and a mutter of 'you think this is what you want? Let me show you the kind of man you think you are...'

Musically, muddy and shitty is correct. Early Oxbow's power lies not in their chuggier choons (like 'Daughter', from the follow up, King of the Jews), but in fact in when they slow to a crawl. To use an old horror film argument, isn't something crawling slowly towards you, with inevitable death in its eyes, more terrifying than a speedy dispatch? A drawn out massacre of the ears is so much worse, making it so much better.

As a competitive fighter, it's easy to draw parallels between the near-violent presence on stage and violence in the ring. However, he is eager to separate Eugene the competitive fighter from Eugene the musician. In this interview segment, he explains that the idea of higher ideals keeps him going - it gets him beyond Fuckfest. But making music is personal for him, whereas fighting is hobbyist. Is it not possible that it's two manifestations of the same fight? One is an enemy that is totally a part of you, and the other is one you've flung yourself in a ring with. Both can teach you things about yourself and how you operate. Both are a struggle by which you come out the other end at a new point, having 'carry it through'.

I'll skip the middle, because of that I know the least. Oxbow's two most recent albums, An Evil Heat and The Narcotic Story, are stars burning brighter. Now a good distance forward musically, Robinson's omnivoiced delivery plumbs new depths of self-argument. It's the whispers in the night that comes from the inability to process all of the horrible shit going on around you. 'Sawmill', from An Evil Heat, is a perfect example of this.

The Narcotic Story is, in contrast to all the above, meditative. It can crush and it can frighten and passages are still mumbled from under your bedframe at 4am, but there is beauty here. 'She's a Find' is calming and it seems... redemptive? In the evolution of Eugene S. Robinson, is this that grim acceptance he hints at in the above video? He knows he's going to hell, but he'll take a while longer than others getting there, all the while musing on what the décor will be like.

While I'm shamelessly fanboying, it'd be remiss of me to omit the man's many guest appearances. My personal favourites are his vocal takedown on Cumbrian doom/stoner outfit Manatees' 'The Pulp Cut' from We Are Going To Track Down And Kill Vintage Claytahh, The Beard Burning Bastard. Screeches and mumbles are left behind for a salvation-like screed, channeling Jeremiah Wright if he was more morally deviant. To rip another of his lyrics, "Jesus... He had nothing to do with this, really". No sir. No he did not.

Potentially the creepiest collab to happen has been with Xiu Xiu. It's not often that Jamie Stewart is the person in the room making everyone the least uncomfortable, but last year's Sal Mineo was a turn up for the books. It's a sparse collection of short pieces that each sound like an interlude from a wholly different and greater body of work. Much in the way each track on Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs is supposed to be plucked from a Broadway show, each short, stab of discomfort could be plucked straight out of a night terror.

Oxbow haven't released anything since The Narcotic Story. Over six years. According to this MTV interview (they still chat tunes, who knew?) and the Oxbow Facebook page, The Thin Black Duke is the title of the new release, and they recorded this August/September. No release date yet. But, Eugene will never not be busy. This year he cropped up as Stranger by Starlight with Anthony Saggers, has formed a beautiful creative partnership with Phillipe Petit on some mad sonic textural stuff (The Crying of Lot 69 is a must-listen for no-wave freaks), and was in a Black Flag covers band called Black Face with legendary Flag bassist Chuck Dukowski. All of this while managing to outlive those who deserve to die before him.