The Neighbourhood won (and warmed) over our hearts back in early 2013 with their cold-weather-attire themed anthem, “Sweater Weather,” taking the Cali-based band to new heights along with the release of their debut LP, I Love You. Genre-bending has always been noted in their sound, and with the release of the band’s sophomore effort, Wiped Out!, that art has been approached gracefully, taking everything you thought The NBHD should sound like and expanding it up a notch.
Not many artists would start their record with a moment of complete silence, but the rules do not apply here for Jesse Rutherford and company. Quite possibly the only silent interlude I’ve ever heard, “A Moment of Silence” prepares us for what’s ahead – a dark yet confessional tale of life, love and the death of youth as we know it.
“Prey” opens up with a Lana Del Rey-esque beachy vibe, quickly jumping into a more alt-rock meets 90’s sound, while “Cry Baby” would even make cry baby queen, Melanie Martinez, and her alter-ego smile, sharing a similar dark yet feisty R&B vibe. Title track, “Wiped Out!,” echoes every sentiment I’ve been having for the past few months that it scares me. It’s draining to give your all to things that just don’t budge; the term wiped out is the understatement of the year to put it nicely. Jesse Rutherford’s ability to tap into the most painful aspects of life and mix it into blissful bubbles of sound is something to be noted for. The anxiety is palpable way deep into the track, giving our emotions a voice that’s screaming for a way out.
I imagine “The Beach” to have a music video that involves the drowning of a soul of some sort, as the track gives off a hazy, defeated vibe – haunting us with the chorus, “I hope I don’t murder me / I hope I don’t burden you” – a notion that runs rampant throughout your mind when all you want is someone to be genuine with in a world of people hiding behind masks. Album high note, “Daddy Issues,” has been the track fans have been anticipating. I can only imagine how epic this one must be live. Eerie, sexy, yet somewhat disturbing to the point where there’s enough wrong to make it right, this is one song we’ll have on repeat.
Closing track and first single, “R.I.P. 2 My Youth,” deserves a standing ovation for brutal in-your-face honesty. With every passing year, we fear our youth is fleeting; this track provides a simple yet much-needed act of comfort to those who feel – you guessed it – wiped out, beaten down and alone. Lyrics like, “I was naive and hopeful and lost / Now I’m aware and trapped in my thoughts,” couldn’t have been captured more perfectly, demonstrating what it’s like to believe in something for a long period of time only to reach the breaking point where hope is blind and something only the fools breathe. A simple thank you to Rutherford just doesn’t seem to suffice.
If time has left you feeling used, abused, drained and completely done with life, buy this album and play it repeatedly until every ounce of pain is wiped clean. One thing is for sure: this record is therapy.
Wiped Out! is available now here.