American alt rock troupe The Neighbourhood have been making quite a name for themselves with the industry bigwigs since signing a deal with Columbia Records and the release of their debut album ‘I Love You’ back in 2013. It looks like they aim to please those music mega-brains once again with this year’s follow-up, ‘Wiped Out!’.
For many, there are some key identifiers that spring to mind when you talk about the ‘alternative’ genre, namely deliberate quirks, atmospheric sounds, and an unshakable hipster vibe. With ‘Wiped Out!’, The Neighbourhood tick every alt box. From intro track ‘A Moment Of Silence’, an actual track of silence, to the ambient psychedelia in the album’s title-track, and the sickeningly cool, sexy and sensual ‘Ferrari’, this band have got the style down and done.
While they have the alternative trademarks running through them like a river, when you sit back and try to place their songs, they’re a mile away from what most would consider the alternative market. Most tracks on the album have a definite chart feel to them, and it’s hardly surprising when you consider the label under which The Neighbourhood are working. ‘Single’ is something that could be plucked right out of the Top 40, sounding somewhere between a less acoustic Ed Sheeran but a more stripped-back Justin Bieber, and you can’t really get much further from alternative.
With ‘Wiped Out!’, we get the alternative band starter kit, the big bucks record label, and the commercial hit-factory sound all rolled into one. So, we hear you ask, what are we left with? The answer is: nothing that we haven’t heard before.
Written by Sam Lawrie (@SamLawrie)