Release Date: Oct 30, 2015
Record label: Sony / Columbia
Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Left-Field Pop
Los Angeles outfit the Neighbourhood haven't yet been able to achieve peak breakout yet, even off the success that was "Sweater Weather." New album Wiped Out! aims to correct that. The five-piece maintain the melancholic, post-Gotye motif they established with 2013 album I Love You here; the nine-track Wiped Out! serving a millennial-minded mash-up of rock, pop and urban influences. This time out, however, they go in a bit harder on the R&B vibes and trap beats, with pretty chill results."Baby Came Home 2/Valentines" is a ballad and cautionary tale ("Who's gonna catch me when I…"), while "Cry Baby" sees frontman Jesse Rutherford do his best Drake impression in terms of vocals and lyrical content.
California's the Neighbourhood are on a mission to make goth R&B a touchstone in the musical lexicon. It's a sound they championed on their debut album, 2013's I Love You, and continue to explore on their sophomore effort, 2015's Wiped Out! Once again working with producer Justyn Pilbrow, the Neighbourhood expand upon the moody synth, heavy bass, and echoey guitar-based style of I Love You with a collection of tracks that, while not mind-blowing, will pleasingly remind most fans of the group's 2012 breakout track, "Sweater Weather. " While other artists have flirted with the darker side of R&B, including Lana Del Rey, the xx, and Halsey (who also worked with Pilbrow on her similarly inclined 2015 debut, Badlands), the Neighbourhood commit to the aesthetic wholeheartedly on Wiped Out! Lead singer Jesse Rutherford brings a louche, cool-guy vibe to the microphone that combines the delicately melismatic lilt of The Weeknd with the plaintive angst of the Cure's Robert Smith.
It’s easy to make assumptions that The Neighbourhood are your average-Joe pop rock band from LA, but that’s far from the case. It’s not been an easy ride for the five-piece over the past couple of years since their debut ‘I Love You’ in 2013 - having had an amazing reception for second single ‘Sweater Weather’, the boys have had a lot to live up to with their sophomore album. Slow built-up melodies are in abundance on the album, with ‘The Beach’ and lead single ‘R.I.P.
"I hate the beach, but I stand in California with my toes in the sand," frontman Jesse Rutherford sang on this Ventura County crew's 2013 sleeper hit, "Sweater Weather." A spry song that rolled from a half-awake hum to a stadium-ready chorus, it stood out on the radio. But the warmth of "Sweater Weather" and the rest of the Neighbourhood's debut album is gone on Wiped Out!, replaced by a ponderous kind of cool. After 30 seconds of silence, the album kicks open with the jangly post-beach vibe of "Prey." It's not long before things start to plod as needlessly long instrumental riffs sink the band too deep into the sand ("The Beach").