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Monday, January 16

Catch Pitchfork raving about THE WIPERS in their new feature "Underscore"

I mean, who can deny the influence of The Wipers? C'mon. The answer is NOBODY. CTD has been fortunate enough to carry all of the Jackpot Records LP releases by The Wipers - Is It Real?, Youth of America, Over The Edge, The Herd, Silver Sail and Out Takes. Even Pitchfork knows it...and they love boasting their knowledge to the world at large ~

"Sage was truly a studio artist. A gearhead too. He had a particular softness for vacuum tube technology. To hear him tell it, this made Sage an anomaly. Guitarists in the late 70s and early 80s were apparently trading in their tube amps for solid-state ones, which were newer and lighter and less breakable. I find all this hard to believe, as I've never met a working guitarist who would choose solid-state over tube amps. Either way, Sage was obsessed with the musical way a signal distorts when you overdrive a tube. He tinkered at the level of valves and voltage to attempt a guitar sound that was scary as hell but still had a thick, warm tone. That's what you're hearing on Is This Real?, Wipers' first LP. Just listen to the first few seconds of 'Return of the Rat' and you'll hear it-- the guitars are sludgy but still articulate and colorful. I always imagine hot lava slowly spilling out of headphones."

"What we get here is a marvelously weird and emotive record about feeling trapped and fucked over, but also resenting one's own victim complex. While Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Black Flag, et al. were figuring out ways to make punk faster and rawer, Sage went the other direction: long, expansive guitar anthems that leveraged krautrock motorik and psych-rock feedback-delay effects. Songs on Youth of America are slower yet more propulsive. It's a defiantly un-rock move to rip out the backbeat and let the songs stretch out with little more than a kick/snare timekeep, the bassline just rolling along, indifferent to what it buoys."

"Over the Edge, which came next, has the needle moving back toward straight-up punk. There are tricks here, but they're under the hood, not as explicitly artsy as what was happening onYouth of America. To me, these are his best songs on nearly every level: concise and immediate but recorded in that contrarian, distinctly Sage-like way. Sage seems to have baked the psychoacoustic context in which he wants us to hear this music into the recordings themselves: punk-inflected pop songs you stumble on while turning through the AM dial late night, maybe, and curse yourself for missing the band names. The songs are, to use a James Murphy phrase, "too old to be new, too new to be classic."

1 comment:

Be nice!