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The Neighbourhood Returns

Catalina Acebal-Acevedo |
November 2, 2015 | 11:35 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

The Neighbourhood (via Catalina Acebal-Acevedo )
The Neighbourhood (via Catalina Acebal-Acevedo )
The Show 

After touring for months, The Neighbourhood returned to their hometown of Los Angeles Friday night along with fellow bands Bad Suns and HUNNY at the Shrine Expo Hall.

HUNNY opened up the show and this six-piece Southern California group drew my attention almost instantly with their bright guitar hooks and foot-tapping beats. The song that stuck the most with me was “Natalie,” but really pick any song off their setlist and prepare to be transported by the indie pop and rock sounds to a long, traffic-less drive down a sunny California beach.

Bad Suns came on soon after and also kept the crowd dancing with their bouncy vocals and pop melodies. “It feels great to be home,” lead singer Christo Bowman said to the audience and indeed the entire performance felt electric with excitement. “Cardiac Arrest,” “Sleep Paralysis,” and “Take My Love and Run” stood out in large part because after most of their other songs were hard to distinguish from one another. Still, this homogeny failed to make their set feel redundant and their songs kept everyone moving as much as they could in the tightly packed hall.

When The Neighbourhood took the stage, the crowd immediately compressed as tightly as possible towards the front and the Shrine practically hummed with everyone’s excitement. Opening with their songs “Ferrari” and “W.D.Y.W.F.M.?” they set up the balance between performing songs from both "I Love You." and their just-released "Wiped Out!"

The Album: "Wiped Out!" 

As an album "Wiped Out!" doesn’t have those one or two chart-topping hits such as “Afraid” and “Sweater Weather” that propelled The Neighbourhood to fame in their first record, but rather benefits from an eclectic combination of songs that all together result in a satisfying listen.

The first “song” on the album titled “A Moment of Silence” is literally just that--thirty seconds of nothing before transitioning into the atmospheric fingerpicking guitar of “Prey.” It has a kind of surf-rock vibe that is present throughout the entire album and that along with the background noises of the ocean (“Greetings From Califournia”), people at the beach (“Cry Baby”), or even a ship creaking (“The Beach”) give off a sense of being at the edge of the sea.

The Neighbourhood (via Catalina Acebal-Acevedo )
The Neighbourhood (via Catalina Acebal-Acevedo )
The very first line lead singer Jesse Rutherford harmonizes is, “As long as you notice/ I’m hoping that you’ll keep your heart open,” sounds like a request for listeners to have an open mind when hearing this music and you really have to with the wide range of influences the band seems to draw inspiration from. The title track starts off sounding similarly to Gorillaz’s “El Manana” with a dreamy acoustic guitar and elements of hip hop and rap later in the song.

A personal favorite, “The Beach” has the kind of chorus that begs to be sung loudly (I always do). “Daddy Issues” feels like Drake’s “Hold On We’re Going Home,” emulating typical slick R&B rhythms though lyrically it feels strange to sing “I love that you got daddy issues/and I do too.” “Baby Came Home 2/Valentines” is one of their longer songs but also another one of my top choices just due to the interesting arrangement and juxtaposition of soft vocals and guitar with electronic buzzing in the latter half of it.

As much as I like “Greetings From Califournia” it is hard to ignore the similarities between the “I can feel it go down” verse and the chorus of “Let It Go.” The percussion of that song though is hypnotizing. “Ferrari” feels similar to “The Hills” by The Weeknd, especially in terms of the intros. “Single” is more simple and has less layers than most of the other songs and though it seemed to include "Rugrats"-sounding keyboard noises, I soon realized that it made sense with the lyrics that constantly refer to a “baby girl.”

Both the concert at the Shrine and the album itself closed with what I consider is the best song off the record and one of the best indie/alternative songs of the year: “R.I.P. 2 My Youth.” Rutherford’s distorted voice reflects on the band’s experiences in the years since they released "I Love You." as well as on the inevitable loss of innocence everyone undergoes at some point in their lives. The cheers when the band left the stage were deafening.

Reach Staff Reporter Catalina Acebal-Acevedo here. 



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