The Wipers - Over The Edge
The bleak, hard-driven third LP by the Wipers (originally released in 1983) offers Greg Sage at his most chased and breathless, lashing out with sharp staccato notes as if melody were his only defense.
The 3rd LP from the PDX punks finds them tightening up their sound to create what is arguably the Wipers' definitive album statement. Kurt Cobain listed it in his top 50 albums of all time. A distant cousin of the preceding Youth of America but undoubtedly no less excellent and no less venomous, Over the Edge is a return to the easily digestible song lengths of Is This Real?; however, it all but leaves that debut in its wake. On the strength of some brave/smart radio stations that decided to play this album's "Romeo" (a propulsive horn-flecked slammer in the vein of "Youth of America"), Wipers solidified their status as a certifiable force in the American underground of the early '80s. Songs like "Messenger" and "What Is" show Greg Sage's increasing skill as a pop songwriter. Despite the fusion of punk and pop, the record hardly mirrors the bands that would later be called punk-pop. In fact, this collision of the two elements makes what followed decades later seem twee.