Return of the Rat

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"Return of the Rat" is a song by the punk rock band Wipers, and is the first track on Wipers' 1980 debut album Is This Real?. Like much of the album, the song structure is circularly tight and catchy, containing a driving drum beat and choppy, distorted guitar riffs.

The song (and the band) grew in popularity after the grunge band Nirvana recorded a cover of "Return of the Rat" for the 1992 Wipers tribute record Eight Songs for Greg Sage and The Wipers, released on the Tim/Kerr label. A different mix of the same recording appeared on the 2004 Nirvana box set With the Lights Out. For the tribute, Nirvana initially intended to include a cover of Wipers' song "D-7" (which also appears on With the Lights Out), recorded in late 1990 for a BBC session. However, the song had already been released by their record label, Geffen Records on the Nirvana EP Hormoaning in 1992. The label did not allow the release of the song under a different record label, so Nirvana ultimately recorded "Return of the Rat" for the compilation. "D-7" was also later included in some versions of the "Lithium" single.