Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wipers - Youth of America

100th post. Wipers' 'Youth of America'. Punk post '77 has involved numerous attempts to bridge the sound of punk with other genres. In 1980 many bands were beginning to experiment with techniques found in reggae and psychedelic rock musics. Pere Ubu, Gang of Four, most of these groups had a very sterile yet funky feel to them. Wipers I guess could be included with these bands, but the difference with them was they presented such a desolated sound that it wouldn't be until Husker Du released 'Zen Arcade' in 1984.

When mentioning 'Youth of America' the first thing that comes to mind is Greg Sage's guitar playing. In thinking about Sage's style it is kind of like an extension of the guitar playing on 'Marquee Moon'. Sage is far from a bad guitarist, but his technicality comes from simplistic choices and also how he textures many of these songs with distorted and overdubbed guitars. Sage also must be credited for his DIY approach before anyone was even conceptualizing industries in that light.

Wipers' 'Youth of America'
'When It's Over' features some great keyboard work and the tracks in general all have a pretty layered feel. The Wipers are still living in a '77 hangover, but a lot of the stuff they do on this record is pretty impressive considering it was released in only 1980. This is really one of the punk albums that helped carve out how dynamic the genre can be.

The order of the version of 'Youth of America' I uploaded is the one I've always known. Apparently the three disc set of Wipers' three earliest albums rearranges the original tracklisting to how it was suppose to be. However they are ordered the six tracks of 'Youth of America' fully predate the extreme pessimism that would overtake the genre in the Reagan years. 'No Fair' is the hit off of this one, it just perfectly captures the feel of everything they are trying to accomplish. Dark, pissed and great.

Wipers - Youth of America (1980)