It may be officially “Sweater Weather,” but The Neighbourhood (or The NBHD, depending on your opinion on abbreviations) are breaking out an unseasonably warm set of tunes in the form of the band’s second album, Wiped Out! As with their previous album, I Love You, The Neighbourhood doesn’t shy from experimental production and cheeky lyrics. Though I Love You. had an angsty, metallic vibe, Wiped Out! is a sun-soaked ode to the West Coast, complete with samples of crashing waves and seagulls sprinkled throughout.
And the album artwork is pretty sick, too.
The album opens with the appropriately titled “A Moment of Silence.” Starting with literally thirty seconds of white noise, before diving into Jesse Rutherford’s smooth vocals accompanied by The Neighbourhood’s signature echoing instrumentals. “Prey,” “Cry Baby,” and the title track, “Wiped Out!” set the groovy, summery tone of the album with a few more hints of acoustic guitar than were present in I Love You.
Oddly enough, the fourth track of the album titled, “The Beach,” is the first song that breaks from the beachy theme. The song incorporates hints of the band’s harder sound from their first album. For hardcore fans of The Neighbourhood’s edgier sound, “Daddy Issues,” “Ferrari,” and “Greetings From Califournia,” sound like they could’ve been bonus tracks straight off of I Love You., with the latter being directly reminiscent of “Let It Go.”
Lyrically, one of the most interesting songs is, “Baby Came Home 2/ Valentines.” It is also the longest song on the album, clocking in at six and a half minutes. In what seems to be a letter to a punk-rock lost love, the second verse says, “She was five foot four/ Getting money on tour/ But her socks were at the end of my bed/ Got our names tattooed on each other/ Just to prove to each other/ That we’d do what we said.”
The song starts off acoustically-driven and stripped down, before it dissolves into The Neighbourhood’s signature eerie metallic sound once the “Valentines” section takes over.
Near the end of the album, “Single,” is an unexpectedly pop, sugary love song, full of soft instrumentals and backing vocals. This song is an interesting change of pace for the album, but ties in the earlier beach theme with acoustic strumming and the faint sound of waves washing around in the background.
Despite the sweet façade of the song, “Single” doesn’t escape The Neighbourhood’s cheekiness. The chorus basically expresses that he wants to, “steal your girl.”
Wiped Out! ends with “R.I.P 2 My Youth,” which was the first single of the album, and has strains of hip-hop influence. The upbeat tune of the track tricks you into thinking it’s a party song, until you pin down the lyrics that say, “Tell my sister don’t cry and don’t be sad/ I’m in Paradise with Dad/ Close my eyes and then cross my arms/ Put me in the dirt, let me dream with the stars.” “R.I.P. 2 My Youth” closes the album on a confusing dark-yet-I-want-to-dance vibe and is a perfect wrap up to Wiped Out!
Overall, listening to Wiped Out! is like drifting underwater in a sun soaked pool. It’s a little dangerous, very relaxing, and a whole lot of fun. Feel free to dive in.