Written for the Press Association music column, published on the Plymouth Herald and other sites.
It’s been two long years since our ears were last treated to a full, studio-length album from The Neighbourhood. In 2013 the band dropped I Love You., 45 minutes of moody guitars, broken-hearted ballads and crooning vocals mingled with interjections of rap from frontman Jesse Rutherford. But it was Sweater Weather, a song of first love and cuddling up in borrowed knitwear that won the band a cult following. And that dedicated fanbase certainly won’t be disappointed with the band’s sophomore album, Wiped Out! Featuring the same built-up melodies, melancholy echoing guitars and haunting vocals from Rutherford, the album is rich in indie hits for thousands of teenage hearts to throb to. From the sombre Cry Baby to lead single R.I.P. 2 My Youth, a bitter-sweet goodbye to teenage life, The Neighbourhood’s second offering is rich in gloomy ballads, conjuring up a vivid feeling of strolling down a Californian beach, staring out onto the vast, open water and nursing a broken heart. Sadly, the band’s poor choice in lyrics, which took a hammering from critics in their previous album, haven’t improved. But does it really matter with songs as great as Prey and Cry Baby?