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Simply obliterating any conception of the Wipers as a mere punk band, Greg Sage released this follow-up to “Is This Real?” in 1981—a sophisticated, overwhelming response to the evil times marked by the turn of the decade. Broken up into six long songs, “Youth of America” is a much colder, harrowing experience than the teen angst of their debut. Vocally, Sage comes off as sleep-deprived and forsaken, snarling not only at his own predicament but at the predicament of the entire world.
The centerpiece of the album is the title track, a dire ten minutes of paranoia and angst that gave Sage the space to showcase his wildest, darkest playing yet. As bassist Brad Davidson and drummer Brad Naish hold the same hypnotic rhythm for the entire song, the guitar careens and swoops with such a frantic energy it seems as though it’s the only thing keeping Sage alive in the maelstrom of sound. It’s a fitting commentary that the exacting, post-punk legends Mission of Burma and squalling, noisy thugs The Melvins both saw fit to cover the track.
“Youth of America” is pressed on high-quality vinyl at RTI and packaged in a sturdy, old-fashioned tip-on sleeve. The tracks have been mastered from original tapes by Greg Sage himself, and the cover is identical to the original sleeve as issued in 1981.