Wipers' Silver Sail


ince most current rock/pop sucks I am going back and listening to bands and artists that I did not know about back at the time or never got around to listening to until now. I would like to discover new music from the past to listen to that I can enjoy.


The state of current music is pitiful, especially what is deemed to be popular today. Last week I turned to the other person in the car as we listened to Power 96 and asked which computer was singing that song. He laughed.


This weekend I decided to take listen to Wipers, a band from Portland, Oregon. The band formed in 1977 and continued releasing new material until 1999. The only information I knew about them was that Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was a fan of the band and had three of their albums on his top 50 favorite albums list. Since I'm a Nirvana fan, and if Cobain liked them, then maybe I would like them.


Everywhere I turned to learn about the band I saw them labeled as a punk rock band but after listening to their music I decided they sounded more post-punk than punk. The lead singer of the band Greg Sage said that he, "never liked being labeled anything."

Listening to their entire discography I hear influences from punk, but not enough of to call them a punk band on the order of Black Flag or anything similar. To my ears, they sound like an alternative/indie band. What's in a label anyway? What matters most is whether the music is good and strikes your fancy.

I am really taken with their 1993 album Silver Sail. It was a reunion album after the band broke up in 1989. The album sounds different from the albums in the 1980s and has the band moving forward and adopting a sound very much of the time. Some of the difference in sound might be attributable to a change of location since this album was recorded in Arizona and not the darkness of the Pacific Northwest. Not that this is a sunny happy experience with songs titled Prisoner, Never Win and Warning.  The sound is moody and bleak with plenty of fuzzy 90's guitar.

As much as I have enjoyed Silver Sail you cannot go wrong giving a listen to any of Wipers albums if you are looking for real music.