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Wipers - Box Set (Cover Artwork)

Wipers

Wipers: Box SetBox Set (2001)
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Reviewer Rating: 5
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Contributed by: deepfrybonanzadeepfrybonanza
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The first few years of the Wipers' existence were fruitful ones indeed, producing three fabulous, equally great yet totally distinct LPs. Despite the fact that these landmark records have swayed in and out of print for the past two decades, they have proven more influential than anyone who saw the b.
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The first few years of the Wipers' existence were fruitful ones indeed, producing three fabulous, equally great yet totally distinct LPs. Despite the fact that these landmark records have swayed in and out of print for the past two decades, they have proven more influential than anyone who saw the band's emaciated singer take the stage of a Portland punk rock club in 1979 could have possibly known. In the Wipers' music, more than any other band besides the Pixies, are the seeds of what would become Nirvana, possibly the greatest and certainly the most popular band of the 1990's. Despite the fact that Nirvana covered a number of the Wipers' songs and repeatedly name-dropped them in mainstream publications (word is, that Kurt Cobain even offered the Wipers the opening slot on the In Utero tour, but Sage turned it down), only now are an entire generation of music fans treated to the simultaneous availability of these three great pieces of art.

And not only do we get to hear these records again (and many of us for the first time), we get to hear them in virtually ideal circumstances. As reissues go, the Wipers box set is one of the best I've ever seen. Featuring all three studio albums digitally remastered and restored to the proper track order of their original release, scores of bonus tracks (including all of the band's out of print singles and EPs from that era, save the debut Better Off Dead EP, which is available on the also-essential History of Portland Punk Volume 1), full-size reproductions of the original sleeves, and liner notes by Wipers front-man and songwriter Greg Sage himself, it's hard to believe that a better reissue has ever been produced. When I found out that this entire package was being made available for the bargain-basement price of only fifteen bucks, I was tempted to prepare a tofu goat for sacrifice as a thank-you to the punk rock gods.

So, by now you're probably wondering what the Wipers actually sound like. Despite the fact that many people recognize the name, few people have actually heard the band's music. While any attempts to broadly describe the band's style are probably futile, at least for these three album the Wipers are defined by an almost hypnotically precise rhythm section, instantly memorable vocal melodies, and most importantly Sage's guitar playing. Sage's playing is easily some of the most unique I've ever heard. While you can distinctly hear his influence in the work of 90's virtuoso J Mascis, it's impossible to find a worthy comparison to Sage's hypnotic style either before Sage's time or since. In a word, the Wipers' early work is indescribable; if you want to know exactly what they're all about, I can only offer you sound samples below.

Even though Sage introduced his landmark style very early in his career, he wasn't content to make the same sounds over and over, no matter how original they were. The Wipers' debut Is This Real exploded onto the scene in 1979, sounding like a northwestern version of the Ramones with an ace lead guitarist who didn't sound like anyone else on the planet. By the time Youth of America was recorded in late 1980 Greg Sage's arrangements expanded to allow more improvisational-sounding jamming (the title track clocks in at more than ten minutes), but on 1982's Over the Edge the band reverted back to songwriting even tighter than their phenomenal debut, crafting what many to believe Sage's pop-punk masterpiece.

However, even if you know all that, the Wipers aficionado will still risk danger of wetting himself when he receives this package in the mail. In addition to essential non-LP tracks from the Alien Boy EP and the flip-side to the essential "Romeo" 7" single (to my knowledge, heretofore only available on CD via the History of Portland Punk Volume 1 compilation), you get tons of studio outtakes (including a remix of "Romeo" with the ubiquitous horn section finally audible) and a number of totally unreleased, never-before-heard tracks. While the opportunity to sit down and listen to all three of the band's phenomenal first LPs in their proper order is extremely welcome, the inclusion of so many excellent, substantial bonus tracks makes this release essential for almost everyone.

The Wipers box set is just completely essential for a number of reasons. If you are into early punk rock at all, you simply need this record. The Wipers have languished in obscurity for far too long, so buy this, tell your friends, and then they'll tell their friends, and so on and so on. Realistically, a self-released box set, no matter how cheap, easy-to-get, or high-quality, probably isn't going to make a band famous, but in the case of the Wipers that a terrible shame.

More reviews and sound samples from all 3 LPs included here @ deepfrybonanza.com

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (June 18, 2004)

to the person asking if the box set will be sold at sam goody...

well back in the old days when sam goody used to be called musicland (at least around here) and i was 12 years old, that was the only place i could find and special order Wipers / Greg Sage albums. but that was close to 20 years ago so who knows now-a-days. regardless if its sold there or not, hunt this set down! you won't be disappointed. greg is a true icon.

Anonymous (November 19, 2001)

so what you do is.. stand up in class and start scratching your balls... scratch them for as long as possible until a teacher looks at you... then get your opponent to try and beat your time.. that is the game called "itchy sack"

Ghettosmurf (November 11, 2001)

Ok angry dood who spends way to much time on this site...
1. You spend to much time on this site
2. You missed blink 182 by a few other poser bands.
3.Blink has no talent.
4.sept the drummer hes good.
5.Nevermind the drummer was in a rap video.
6.I agree with you on the sell out thing cuz i have a band and it really pisses me off when people call other bands sell outs for making a carrer out of something there good at.
7.Chill on the 7 page long comments no one is gonna read em anyway...
8.And Sam Goody still sucks.
Lates,
Smurf

Ghettosmurf (November 11, 2001)

oops i did it twice... like i said im tired...
lattr,
Smurf

Ghettosmurf (November 11, 2001)

O.K.
1.Sam Goody sucks...
2.Its really late at night and i just forgot what band im commenting on...
3.k i remembered
4.The bands OK and is it just me or r we commenting on sam goody more then the CD?
5.Your both fuz balls now shut up.
6.Sam goody still sucks...
lattr,
A really tired smurf

Ghettosmurf (November 11, 2001)

O.K.
1.Sam Goody sucks...
2.Its really late at night and i just forgot what band im commenting on...
3.k i remembered
4.The bands OK and is it just me or r we commenting on sam goody more then the CD?
lattr,
A really tired smurf

Anonymous (November 10, 2001)

who you callin fuzzball? ha ha

Anonymous (November 10, 2001)

to the second guy, the sam goody near me to be honest actually sells quite a bit of punk. Most of it is major label stuff, but there's also a bunch of good punk compilations there too. Of course today when i try to buy a rancid cd, they don't have the one i want. fuckers.

WinstonFeatherby (November 10, 2001)

< i>Laugh it up fuzzball.

Winn e

Anonymous (November 10, 2001)

what the fuck? my pathetic taste in music? Fuck you, you have no idea what my taste in music is. In fact, I haven't even heard of the Wipers before, but if i like what i hear, then it's good to know where i can get some CDs. moron.

deepfrybonanza (November 9, 2001)

Winnie's right... last night I tried one of these "hardcore pits" and it was quite interesting!
I'm on my way now to trade all of my CDs in for mosh-metal and power violence. Maybe I'll get in a fight on the way to the used CD store!!!
XXXlongXXXXXliveXXXXhXXaXXXXrdXXXcXXoXXXrXXXeXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX

WinstonFeatherby (November 9, 2001)

Of course the poppy stores will be selling the Wipers. Considering that the Wipers are basically the Police with less talent. Oh yeah, you suck too. So does your pathetic taste in music.

Winnie

rightclique (November 9, 2001)

what a stupid question. of course not. sam goody would never sell the wipers.. there is a badass cover of "return of the rat" performed by one of the greatest punk bands ever, nirvana. its pretty kickass. pretty much like the original though, which can be found on the hype soundtrack as well as others. nirvna also did a cover of D7 on the hormoaning ep they put out.

Anonymous (November 8, 2001)

where is this box set going to be sold? The only cd store really close to me is Sam Goody. will the bullshit stores be selling them?

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