Box Set

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The three-disc Wipers box, released by Greg Sage through his own Zeno label, is a rare instance where everyone is left happy, longtime convert and recently curious alike. Not only does it contain the Wipers' earliest and most revered major works remastered in their entirety, it also jam-packs 23 bonus tracks of alternate takes and mixes, outtakes, and live tracks. Sage also provides band photos and extensive liner notes. The bonuses are a feast for dedicated fans who have owned the straight-ahead new wave of Is This Real?, the epic chug of Youth of America, and the tightly coiled brilliance of Over the Edge since their first pressings. The previously orphaned material especially won't sound much different in quality to fresh ears than the choice album material, and -- most importantly -- listeners mustn't feel as if they're paying extra for them. Thanks to Sage's lack of greed, you'd be spending more money by picking up used copies of the three releases this bases itself on. And if that's not enough perspective, the bonus tracks are actually worth the price alone -- no kidding. If you have any interest whatsoever, you really can't afford to not pick it up. Your collection should have as much space for this band as it does Hüsker Dü, the Minutemen, and Mission of Burma. These three discs comprise some of the most articulate, urgent, intense, and proficient rock & roll made in the name of alienation.

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