Wipers – Better Off Dead E.P. 7″

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This is the Wipers first record. You know it’s great. It’s got that unique sound that you’re so spoiled with from the 70s punk scene. Dark, haunting, energetic, powerful and inspiring.

Wipers seems to have a sort of a cult status that I have a little hard time understanding. They did some great tunes but also lots of not that interesting stuff. Nevertheless both Better Of Dead and Up In Flames stands the test of time. So your’re giving this a chance, right?

Country: USA
Year: 1978
Label: Trap
Format: 7″
Songs:
Better Off Dead.mp3
Up In Flames.mp3
Does It Hurt.mp3

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39 Responses to Wipers – Better Off Dead E.P. 7″

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  4. tsiatko says:

    Yeah, a friend put this out, he had one of the first record stores to carry punk in Portland.

    What made the Wipers important is they were the first ones to do this style of ‘americanized’ punk, not hardcore nor UK style punk ala the clash – but something which was later known as grunge. As Kurt C. said “the Seattle Sound is actually Portland’s”.

    So yes, they sound like nothing special now, but that’s the curse of being first.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Songs are okay. Never got into this band and I’m from Portland too. I own their stuff but it’s never done anything for me. There’s much better old punk/KBD to listen to! Fuck it.

  6. Jay Thurston says:

    I must admit…I still don’t like this record. As a matter of fact, it went up in flames in 1980. That’s right, I poured gasoline on it and lit a match…the rest is history. Now, I don’t feel so bad that it’s gone.

  7. tsiatko says:

    I didn’t like it either! But it is important.

  8. Karl Bakla says:

    I don’t care what you say I think it sounds good! Well, if it was slightly faster I’d like it even more!

  9. Lethargi says:

    The first two tracks sound more like what come from the bottom of the barrel of the mid nineties grunge scene rather than something from 1978 so I guess it’s ahead of it’s time. Atonal, repetitive and boring. The third track has some life in it and sounds more the way I picture punk from 1978 sounding. So cheers for the third track.

  10. briand says:

    They had their own distinctive sound from the first 45, can’t mistake them for anything else. The first album is hit-or-miss. The next two are killers. “Youth Of America” is one of the greatest records ever. They sound nothing like any 90s grunge-era group that I can think of.

  11. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    I’m surprised that there’s so many not liking this. There’s always “better” records which of course depends on taste.

  12. RudeBoy Noah says:

    amazing blog, been looking for a bonus track off of Killed By Death #1 – F.U. 2’s Stars In The Street
    yours
    RBN

  13. Erich says:

    C’mon, it’s a great record! I prefer some of the the 3rd LP (I dunno why, maybe cause it was the the one I had first by the WIPERS), but basically all WIPERS stuff is extraordinaire and essential. Killer post!

  14. Petter says:

    I like this one a lot more than their later stuff, but even that (their later stuff) I like. Better Of Dead was covered by the band everyone (except me) seems to hate, the Nomads. They did a good, if nothing extra, version of that song.

  15. Petter says:

    Stitchies covered Better Of Dead too.

    • Raf says:

      I guess you’re confused with the LA PESTE song “Better off Dead”. The Stitches covered this one, not the Wipers’.

  16. Tomas says:

    Har du koll på att Dean Dirg spelar på Debaser imorrn? Lite fel ställe att skriva det men det får duga.

  17. hdvns says:

    Posted this awhile ago with their 2nd EP as well. I think they were always a thorn in the side of punk and HC, but isn’t that what punk is supposed to be? Good stuff!

  18. Laszlo says:

    one of the GREATEST bands ever!!!

  19. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    Thanks for letting me know hdvns! I found your post but no mp3s?

  20. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    Just det Tomas!!! Tack för påminelsen. Såg affischerna på stan och hade bokat in spelningen i mitt huvud men hade garanterat glömt bort det om du inte skrivit här.

  21. Mano says:

    Anyone has the lyric for Up in Flames? POst here Please!!! I really like it.

  22. SwePete says:

    Ingenting annat du har glömt?

  23. hdvns says:

    Here ’tis
    http://theeheadveins.blogspot.com/search/label/wipers

    Click on the word “these”

    Cheers and stop back by!

  24. Niels says:

    I don’t see why this record should be judged on a punk/KBD scale; it’s a classic, as are all Wipers records up to about the mid 80’s, regardless of genre. Greg Sage had a totally original sound and style, the similarities with later bands like Nirvana are pretty superficial.

  25. Tony says:

    I love early Wipers stuff! So much of it is haunting, dark and has a depressing undercurrent to it. Greg Sage is a punk guitar maestro and could really noodle some incredible sound of his gee-tar. Just check out the cool twang he gets at like the :48 second mark of “Better Off Dead”. The 1st Wipers EP is not my favorite record of theirs but the tune “Better Off Dead” is a total killer and begs to be played super loud. Plus throughout the whole EP the drummer sounds like he’s hitting a piece of aluminum foil. Their 1st LP has some killer stuff on it, but I think the highlight of their early stuff is the “Over The Edge” LP from ’83. The title track is my favorite Wipers song of all time. About 6 years ago Greg Sage’s Zeno label put out a triple CD with the 1st EP, first 3 LP’s, plus a ton of outtakes and alternate mixes (like 50 songs total). He’s still selling it for $17- go here: http://www.zenorecords.com/shop/cd.htm

  26. Wipers rulez ok. I agree with Erich that the 3rd LP is probably best, but then I think it sound identical to the first. The second is also very good. And yeah, heh, so is most of their other stuff too except one or two of the really really late ones – which Greg Sage himself said shouldn’t have been labelled as Wipers anyhow…Greg Sage’s two first solo LPs are also superb. etc etc.

  27. lpd42 says:

    my favorites are those who experiment. “My War” by Black flag, “Into the Unknown” by Bad Religon… Those albums are constantly slagged by punks for not being more typical of the genre.
    The wipers were top-notch, there isn’t an album of theirs I haven’t liked yet. I honestly wouldn’t label the wipers as punk though. Their merger of 70’s rock with the punk attitude would later be described as Grunge when nirvana came out.
    Their albums rely more on mood, texure and atmosphere than aggression, relying on subtleties like how the hi-hat is almost always louder than the crash in the mix.

  28. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    I don’t think they’re slagged just because they’re not typical for the genre. I personally slag them cause they’re bad records. Good experimentation is Western Hysteria, Devo, Any Partridge from XTCs solo album, Adam & The Antz-Dirk Wears…etc.

  29. Erich says:

    … and Slayer’s punk-covers double 10″!

  30. Tage Savage says:

    You can listen to this record and never get tired of it. It’s Punk Rock at it’s finest, it’s not punk. ‘punk’ is tired, Punk Rock is always interesting, always interesting, always weird, and always pisses off the unimaginative (see Jay Thurston). There’s those who enjoy Punk Rock, then there are the ‘punks’, they’re the ones wearing the leathers and the spikes, they hate this record, and are, as Geza X described, ‘trapped in tradition like a mystic in a cage.’That’s kinda why I don’t hang with them types no more. It’s also why punk sucks…

  31. Jakob says:

    Tjena! Hittar jag andra svenska Wipers-fans här för första gången??! :-D Vad gäller singeln “Better off Dead” så liknar den ju ingenting som Wipers gjort senare, och hör till det sämsta de gjort även om huvudspåret är OK. Lite kul att de spelade in den på en fyrakanalare dock.

  32. julian says:

    hey the wipers are one of the greatest rock bands of all time to me . but every one has different opinions, i have eight albums by the wipers and there sick, if i wasnt for nirvana covering there music i probably wouldnt have herd about them. one of my favorite bands, listen to there music its great.

  33. Steve says:

    I song I like best is romeo. But these songs are great to. I wouldn’t mind hearing more.

  34. alexis o.d says:

    wipers are one of my favorite u.s punk bands.they tottaly embody the spirit of punk rock,but its way too sad that back in hometown were so uderrated.in europe wipers seem to be a legendary band.
    just for the information,the wipers members had a 7″ record in 1978 under a different name(that i dont really recall right now) in which they paly tottaly basic and stripped down punk rock-reminds of pre-joy division “warsaw” era.if anybody remembers/owns this record please upload it as it is the most rare item ever from the wipers.
    also anybody heard of the band “beaureagarde”?its was the psych rock/blues band greg sage played with at the age of 17,vocals by the infamous wrestler!

  35. Chris says:

    Yaaaaaahhh! Track 3! Track 3! Never mind the first two, “Does it Hurt” is the killer… Right up there in the Northwest punk rock pantheon with The Accident’s “Kill the Bee Gees” and the Fastbacks’ “It’s your Birthday”…

  36. dubdog says:

    Hard to top Alien Boy. Serious tune and one hell of a key hook line.
    They hurt what they dont understand

  37. FishGuts says:

    After being introduced to The Wipers through Nirvana’s cover of D7 in Incesticide, The very 1st song that I heard from The Wipers on my own was Better Off Dead, that song was nailed in my brain since 92, and living outside the US and finding a band this amazing at that time without the ease of high tech like now days it was a really a treasure, after that I got Youth Of America and Alien Boy and those was another hard blows to a 7 year old kid’s brain from an amazing band, I will never stop listening to this band.

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