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Album Review: The Neighbourhood, “Wiped Out!”

Rating: A-

Having some mainstream success with their last album, “I Love You,” The Neighbourhood has struck interest with an indie fan base and those interested in alternative rock bands. Now, three years after their debut album, The Neighbourhood continues to bring chill vibes with the release of their second studio album, “Wiped Out!”

Back in 2012, The Neighbourhood released the song “Sweater Weather.” The song put the band on the map in the music world, and was a radio hit in 2013. The song had a strong indie influence, and represented the laid back California lifestyle. “Wiped Out!,” continues this style, and incorporates songs with heavy basslines, tambourines and distorted guitars. Vocalist, Jesse Rutherford, still sings lyrics with his soothing voice and brings a calming effect to all of the songs.

A surprising aspect of the album is experimentation into other genres. Some songs, such as the title song, feature sounds that blend the styles of hip-hop and alternative. The rap verse in the song reminded me of something that would have been produced by The Weeknd. It has an R&B feel to it. The same goes for the song, “Daddy Issues,” which features programmed beats and digital effects to distort the vocals and instruments. It gives off a surreal effect to the the song. With all of these different blends of genres, it is hard to put a label on The Neighbourhood’s sound.

The Neighbourhood have stepped up their game within the lyrics of “Wiped Out!” While “I Love You,” showed a strong passion in majority of the songs, “Wiped Out!” takes the concept of soul to a whole new level. In the lyrics of the songs, you can tell that Rutherford is crying out about past loves and realistic problems. The sorrow in his voice illustrates the struggles of everyday life in songs such as, “Baby Came Home 2 / Valentines.”

The fact that the band spent three months in Malibu writing and recording the album really reflects in their work. In the song, “Greetings from California,” the band incorporates a background sound of ocean waves crashing. It really brings in the roots of the California-based band, and shows that they have a strong connection to the area. Reflecting off of the local area also helps incorporate a surf-rock vibe to the album, mixing yet another genre into the large pool of sounds.

Overall, The Neighbourhood has released a solid album with “Wiped Out!” Original fans will be glad to hear the indie, alternative sound on which The Neighbourhood is founded. Unfortunately, The Neighbourhood does not have many tour dates lined up to promote “Wiped Out!,” but I have a strong prediction that the band will be headlining huge music festivals within the next year.

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