Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wipers - Youth of America (1981)

Greg Sage and his Wipers were another band that was sorely under-rated and unfairly glossed over; I think they received more press because Kurt Cobain happened to be a fan and Nirvana covered a few of their songs, but Wipers was another band that was ahead of their time- they fused raw punk energy with catchy hooks and a taste for experimentation. Think Hüsker Dü starting a band with Mission of Burma that was trying to sound like Television.

Wipers started out as Sage's experiment; only meant to be
a recording project with no touring or promotion- Sage's dad owned an actual record press in their basement and Greg would record songs off the radio and press records for his friends. As Sage would meet drummer Sam Henry and bassist Dave Koupal, they'd cut a single on their own label (Better Off Dead on Trap Records) and play some live shows around Portland, gaining notoriety and achieving some cult status with the release of their first full-length Is This Real?

Exit Henry & Koupal, enter the Brads; Davidson on bass and Naish on drums. This is the line-up Wipers went with to record this album, and it's fair to say that this was the most adventurous album in the hardcore genre at the time, so much so that it coined the term "post-hardcore" because of its song lengths (the title track clocks in at 10:27) and reliance on other instruments and timbres somewhat unknown to hardcore bands at the time. They broke the mold with this record, and forever altered the punk rock landscape in doing so.


Luke said...

This is a great record!

For those who are interested, Greg Sage's label Zeno Records is selling a CD box set of the Wipers' first three albums plus numerous bonus tracks. The whole thing costs something like $20 with shipping, and the liner notes are an interesting read as well. Definitely worth it; check it out!

You can find it here:

Jimmy Mac said...

Wow, that's a low price!

Andres said...


bffs said...

thank you so much.

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