Alec Reviews Music: ‘Wiped Out!’ by The Neighbourhood

Alec Erickson

Leave that sweater at home. This album is so hot, you can forget about the weather.

(Photo courtesy: ITunes)
(Photo courtesy: iTunes.)

The Neighbourhood (or The NBHD, depending on your preference) are back with their second full-length album, “Wiped Out!” This album is filled with the California vibe and melancholy harmony that the band is known for. 

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The Neighbourhood started back in late 2011. They are originally from Newbury Park, California. Despite the fact that they are labeled as an American indie rock band, they use the British spelling of the word Neighborhood. According to reports, this was a suggestion to distinguish themselves from a band with the American spelling.

To label the band as just indie rock is vastly understating their style. There are plenty of rock elements in their music, but they also use plenty of hip-hop and experimental styles. With the added synthesizers, it is hard to label the band as one thing or another. They work hard to make their own distinct sound. 

“Wiped Out!” is a little bit longer than an average album. The record has a total of 11 tracks and clocks in at around 43 minutes long. Impressively, there are a few tracks on the record that go over the six-minute mark, while the rest are for the most part around four minutes in length.

The track “R.I.P. 2 MY Youth” is the new and better “Sweater Weather.” It contains the smooth hip-hop lyrical structure, a catchy drumbeat, with some outstanding back-up vocals. The added keyboard adds a lot of depth to the track, making it extremely catchy, as it flows and has a solid progression. This is the last track on the album and leaves you often wanting to go back for another listen. This song alone perfectly captures the essence of The Nieghbourhood.

“The Beach,” on the other hand, is a somber track on the record. What the band does best on all their songs is progression. “The Beach” has the most buildup throughout the song and comes down nicely. There is more of an emphasis on this track for the rums and keyboards than the bass or guitar, but it works well for this track. Overall, it is a very satisfying song to listen through. Some of the more interesting choices in the music is the incorporation of natural sounds, like the sounds of children playing or waves crashing on the beach. All of this scattered through the album adds a sense of nuance.

Lyrically, there is some heavy content in these tracks, touching base on subjects of death, heartbreak and mistakes.  There’s a lot of depth to some of the tracks that require multiple listens just to understand the context. Overall, there is a lot more here in this album then their previous work. There’s a lot of meaning in each of their songs that might fly over some listeners’ heads.

However, it’s not how the songs are written that give them their punch — it’s the delivery. Lead vocalist Jesse Rutherford has such a harmonic and somber voice that you begin to really feel the things that he is singing about and connect with him.

“Wiped Out!” is the perfect soundtrack to the upcoming winter season. The melancholy tone and somber vocals produce a chill the first time listening through the album. The band is clearly not struggling with a sophomore slump with this album. If you liked their last album, “Wiped Out!” is a must-have for you.

Even if you only liked “Sweater Weather,” this is still an album you should check out. The Neighbourhood is out to prove that they are more than just a one-hit wonder.  

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Final Score: 4.5/5

Collegian Music Critic Alec Erickson can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @CTV_ACE.