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.
A grizzly, furious beast of a 30-minute record, Youth of America saw Greg Sage and his Wipers lengthening some of their material to very unfashionable lengths; many a hardcore punk band of the time could tuck a dozen songs about Reagan and fisticuffs inside the title track alone. Opposed to the compromised Is This Real?, Youth of America was engineered and recorded in-house; Sage's time spent in a professional setup for the debut LP frustrated him, and the fact that he's gained complete control here makes it seem as if a cork has been pulled from a bottle. The shackles are off and the group's own personality hits full bloom. Vocally, Sage sounds like a sleepless outcast loaded on an unhealthy amount of caffeine, fraught with a magnified level of paranoia and angst that needs immediate purging - often, his life seems to be depending on it. 'Youth of America' itself is a nightmare locomotive, a ten-minute chug through a persistent rhythm, screeching/careening/wailing guitars, and jarring psychedelic effects.
- Vinyl LP
- Remastered from the Original Tapes by Greg Sage
- Pressed at RTI
- Old-Fashioned Tip-On Sleeve
- Original Cover Artwork
- Taking Too Long
- Can This Be
- Pushing The Extreme
- When It's Over
- No Fair
- Youth Of America