Reviews

Jackpot

Wipers Live at the Met, December 31, 1982 LP

Previously unreleased WIPERS live soundboard recording from 1982; seventeen songs including two that aren’t on any of their other records? I don’t think I could imagine a better description for an LP. And it delivers. Though recorded on the eve of the sessions for their Over the Edge album, this set draws primarily on classic Is This Real-era cuts (“Dimension 7,” “Potential Suicide,” “Tragedy,” etc.) and obscurities like the fantastic “Something to Prove.” I celebrate the band’s entire catalog, but Live at the Met is the WIPERS at their most straightforward, catchiest, punk-rock best. Absolutely essential. “This is for all you aliens…”

Wipers Land of the Lost LP reissue

Some fascinating detours notwithstanding, the WIPERS’ output from 1978 to 1984 is pure RAMONES-based punk rock of the highest caliber. But by the time he released his first solo work, Straight Ahead, Greg Sage had shifted gears, and WIPERS albums from the second half of the ’80s onward were generally slower, moodier, and altogether more rock than punk. 1986’s Land of the Lost, reissued late last year, still retains some of the drive of their early records—“Let Me Know” and “Way of Love” could have been outtakes from Over the Edge—yet the standout is undoubtedly the title track. Heavier and riffier than anything the WIPERS had previously attempted, “Land of the Lost” hits like a steamroller on an inexorable march forward. Throw in the incredible head-scratching artwork and this album is a welcome reissue for anyone who’s worn the grooves of the first three LPs.