Review: The Neighbourhood's "Wiped Out!"

Review: The Neighbourhood's "Wiped Out!"

A Story by Kat Wentzell
"

You treat all the rules like you're the queen, but you and I are few and far between.

"

In October of 2015, California-made moody alternative rock-esque band The Neighbourhood released its sophomore full-length album, Wiped Out!.  The album is closely akin to the precedent EP, I Love You., with dark, rhythmic melodies and ambiguous lyrics.  In an interview with Digitaltrends.com, Zach Abels, the band’s lead guitarist, admitted that the band’s music does not fit perfectly into one genre: “It’s hard to put a finger on one style or influence,” said Zach. “We like to mess around with different styles of production.  If it feels right for the song that we’re doing, then we will do it.”1  Along with creating a genre all its own, the band utilizes frontman Jesse Rutherford’s powerful vocal range on this record, and he caterwauls out infectious choruses on each track bound to haunt your head for weeks.          


The album begins with “A Moment of Silence,” which is in fact, a moment of silence….thirty-two seconds to be exact.  It’s an odd way to open an album, but it instills the sense of mystery and enigma that the band is notorious for.


The album gets very intense during the track titled “The Beach.”  It starts with the haunting, temperamental sounds of a few piano chords and distant humming.  Waves crash.  Rutherford then begins singing in a low, grave tone asking, “If I told you that I love you, tell me, what would you say?” only adding to the uneasy, almost volatile vibes.  Eventually, by the chorus, Rutherford explodes, his voice changing to desperate and pleading.  “I’m sick,” he cries out, “and I’m tired, too.  I can admit, I am not fireproof.”  The song is jam-packed with emotion, almost making you want to break it off with a toxic partner you don’t even have.


“Ferrari” is another song hinting at a virulent girlfriend, where Rutherford slyly compares a woman multiple times to Satan.  The song opens with a gritty guitar line by Abels simulating the sound of a revving engine.  Bassist Michael Margott and percussionist Brandon Fried also get a little playful on the track with staccato plucks of a bass and subtle smacks of what sounds like a xylophone.  Rutherford carries the rest of tune with snarky ex-boyfriend lines like, “You treat all the rules like you’re the queen, but you and I are few and far between.”


Wiped Out! closes with a melodramatic anthem titled “R.I.P. To My Youth.”  The song suggests a theme of depression as a result of disappointment with the unpredictable instability of reality.  At one point, Rutherford alludes to the 27 Club when he sings about using white lighters to guide his way through life.  This song is a slightly distressing, but also ironically a wholesome way to end the record.  The Neighbourhood remained unapologetically true to its equivocal ways throughout the whole work, more than can be said for many popular artists in today’s music world.  


The Neighbourhood is rumored to release a new album sometime in 2017, and after experiencing Wiped Out!, another album is much anticipated.     


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References


[1] Midkiff, S. (2015, November 02). There goes The Neighbourhood. LA’s favorite genre

benders are back with Wiped Out! Retrieved February 11, 2017, from http://

www.digitaltrends.com/music/the-neighbourhood-interview-wiped-out/


[2] “The Neighbourhood Bio | The Neighbourhood Career." MTV Artists. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 

2017.

© 2017 Kat Wentzell


Author's Note

Kat Wentzell
This is my first album review. I plan on refining this art, given that my ultimate career goal is music journalist.

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Added on February 15, 2017
Last Updated on February 15, 2017
Tags: album review, review, the neighbourhood, pop culture, music, music journalism

Author

Kat Wentzell
Kat Wentzell

Galloway, NJ



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♡ my name is kat. i am 19 years old. i'm a journalist for unclear magazine. here are my stories. ♡ more..

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