Following their first album, “I Love You,” released in 2013, a California-based band, The Neighbourhood, debuted their sophomore album, “Wiped Out!” on Oct. 30 and has proven to long-time listeners, such as myself, they are willing to continue experimenting with different genres and sounds.
“I Love You” is a combination of the two EPs, “Thank You” and “I’m Sorry,” which were created in 2012 along with various songs not affiliated with either one of the EPs. Each individual song possessed an alternative, very soft rock sound while giving off an extremely relaxing feeling.
After that, the band completed two other projects. One being a three-song EP, “The Love Collection,” which stuck with the initial alternative sound along with introducing an unexplainable calmness in their music I have heard in other music from artists originating on the west coast.
The second project is a mixtape, “#000000 & #FFFFFF,” which possesses a completely different sound compared to their other work. Underground rappers from California are featured along with mainly hip-hop beats and various raps from lead singer Jesse Rutherford.
I can hear each individual style they have ever used in “Wiped Out!” along with the emphasis on beachy sounds and the introduction of upbeat music, which walks a fine line between the alternative and pop genres. On almost every track, you can hear waves crashing or seagulls squawking in the background. There are also longer guitar instrumentals from guitarists Zach Abels and Jeremy Freedman audible.
Personally, I believe the various challenges in musical style is what sets this album apart from the rest and why I enjoy it so much. Each track, from the acoustic sounds in “Baby Came Home 2 / Valentine” to the heavy bass in the intro of “Ferrari,” is organized almost perfectly as a song flows smoothly into the next one.
Lyrically, Rutherford has stayed the same in regards to writing lyrics all listeners can connect to at some level in their lives; however, he has also added depth in a few of their songs that really make me sit and think about the message he is trying to convey.
Rarely will I stumble across an album by a band I really like and enjoy every single song, but I find myself able to connect every track to something I am currently going through or have gone through at some point of my life.
From the lyrics, “We need to fly ourselves before someone else tells us how,” in the track “Prey” to “I don’t want to let you down, so promise you won’t let me drown,” in title track “Wiped Out!” I can find a piece of me hidden in the words, and I love that.
Overall, “Wiped Out!” still possesses the same relaxing and chill vibe I have heard and fell in love with throughout their career, but the new more quickly paced beats I really enjoy as well. Rutherford and the rest of the band have continued to prove they are able to experiment well with almost any type of music, and I cannot wait to hear what they will try next on their next album or project.
You can listen to the album here.