The Neighbourhood, “Wiped Out!”
It begins with “A Moment of Silence”—thirty seconds without sound that don’t pack the same punch streaming as they would on vinyl. For a band branded with so much black-and-white photography, it may be another piece of the retro vibe that they’re aiming for—a small link to remind their audience that Wiped Out! was made by The Neighbourhood. While it seems a bit unnecessary, the concern is valid. Wiped Out! is different, stripped of the R&B swag and playful lyrics that their previous effort carried to mainstream success. Here, the songs float together in one long, love-drunk haze that, in one sitting, gets bland from the sonic overexposure. However, individually, the pristine composure of the tracks shines—as do the group’s experimentation with psych blends and their characteristically smooth rhythms (heard mostly in standout track “R.I.P. 2 My Youth”). The Neighbourhood’s sophomore release holds glimpses of promise, but it would be a more pleasurable listen if it welcomed greater diversity and less moodiness.