Weather” propelled The Neighbourhood
to sudden stardom back in 2013. They’ve come a long way since then.
Almost indignantly, they
refuse to be bound by any one genre. Who’d have thought that “those Sweater
Weather guys” would go on to drop a mixtape hosted by DJ Drama? That too, with
a long list of features that included French Montana, YG, Danny Brown, and OG
Maco. Bitch you didn’t guess it.
The Neighbourhood’s follow up effort to their hit and miss debut album is
somewhat impressive, if only because it’s less hit and miss than its
predecessor. They’re making progress.
This album is truly of
its time. Ever wondered what it would sound like if The Weeknd made surf rock?
Wonder no more. Elements of R&B, rock, and a little hip hop are all melded
together to create a unique, contemporary sound.
The lyrical content,
however, seems neglected. Wiped Out!’s
lyrics suffer from a pervading sense of blandness. Not a lot stands out.
the exceptions to that rule is “Daddy Issues”, a touching song about front man Jesse Rutherford’s relationship
with his dead dad. Although it does take some unexpected turns: “I love that
you got daddy issues/And I do too” and “I know that you got daddy issues/And if
you were my little girl/I’d do whatever I could do.”
The first track on this
album is just 30 seconds of silence. Well played, Neighbourhood. Well played. The
second track, “Prey”, is merely so-so. But stick around and the six songs that
follow make the album worth listening to. The album then tapers off, with the
last three tracks bringing nothing noteworthy to the table.
“Cry Baby” is a great
track, with its swinging bass and tropical notes.
“The Beach” is another
stand out track, the pain in Rutherford’s voice palpable. Watch out, because
emotions will be evoked. “Greetings from Califournia” sounds exactly how a song
that namedrops California should—wavy and chill.
Most impressive is the experimental
innovation on this album. The psychedelic segues on some of the tracks are the
album’s best moments. In particular, the instrumental transformations on title
track “Wiped Out!” and “Baby Came Home 2/Valentines”.
backfires on “Ferrari”, however, a song that just doesn’t work. Industrial
like The Neighbourhood have finally found a sound they can stick with. But no one can really predict what direction they’ll
head in next. And that’s the one of the best things about them.