It’s that time of year again, when indie rockers everywhere harken back the 2013 hit song “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood. With fall and actual sweater weather upon us, music junkies everywhere have been anxiously waiting for the release of The Neighbourhood’s latest album Wiped Out!
I found myself among the crowd waiting and wondering what The Neighbourhood would do with their sophomore album. The lead single “R.I.P. 2 My Youth” is an eerie but upbeat melody that is coupled with powerful, haunting and still catchy lyrics.
I was really surprised by this song and excited to see what else the band derived from these past two years, so I began listening to the album with high hopes for more.
When I sat down to give this record a listen, I logged onto Spotify, located the new album and pressed play without much thought. After about 15 seconds of nothingness I was checking my headphones and the wifi connection for problems when I realized that the first track, titled “A Moment of Silence” is literally 30 seconds of silence.
At first I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about the album opening with a moment of silence. It came off sort of pretentious and angsty and I didn’t really like that tone for the very opening of the album, especially after the expectations the lead single set for me.
However, after listening to the album all the way through I realized that opening with silence fits The Neighbourhood’s image perfectly well.
In other words, opening with something so melodramatic and beach goth-esque was a very “Neighbourhood” thing to do.
That theme is carried out through the entire album but manifested best in the songs “Prey,” “Baby Came Home 2/ Valentines” and “Greetings From California.”
The track titled “Wiped Out!,” the fourth song on the album, is six minutes long. Five minutes and thirty seconds of this track are boring and monotonous without any standout lyrics or interesting instrumentation, and the other 30 seconds of this track sound like police sirens and elephants having a screaming match broadcasted through a radio station that mostly plays white noise.
Of course there are tracks that stand out on this record, that I would even say are good, but music is released by collection for a reason and those tracks suffer because of the inconsistencies and straight up terribleness of the other songs.
It’s really sad that tracks like “Prey” and “R.I.P. 2 My Youth” lose steam when you remember that the same band wrote and recorded the song “Wiped Out!” And while other tracks like “Daddy Issues” and “Ferrari” are not as terrible, they aren’t that great either; they mostly oscillate between being boring or aggressively mediocre.
Overall this album is a big fat bummer. The disappointment brought me down so low that I stayed in bed in my pajamas until 4 pm the next day.
If this album does anything it shows the band has not yet fully tapped its potential to overcome one hit wonder syndrome and give listeners a full album experience.
We should all take an extra moment of silence to send happy thoughts and good vibes to The Neighbourhood so that maybe they can come together a little more in their next album and make something consistently good.