“Hard” Album Review
The Neighbourhood's "Hard" EP
November 8, 2017
The Neighbourhood released their latest EP Hard on Sept. 22. This is the first release since their Wiped Out! album last year on Oct. 30 and their debut album, I Love You in April of 2013.
On their I Love You album, the band got recognition for songs “Sweater Weather” and “Afraid”. The album reached number 25 on Billboard’s top 200 and number 5 on the Top Alternative Albums for Billboard.
The group then released their mixtape #000000 & #FFFFFF which included a single “#icanteven” featuring rapper, French Montana. Their second album, Wiped Out! reached number one on the Top Alternative Albums.
Their Hard EP consists of five tracks: “Roll Call”, “You Get Me So High”, “Noise”, “24/7”, and “Sadderdaze”. None of the songs currently have any music videos for them.
“Roll Call” starts with an 80’s pop before lead singer, Jesse Rutherford, begins to whisper the first lyrics of the song. This track incorporates a bass line that’s present throughout the song. Rutherford’s voice then gets distorted in the chorus of the song, seeming to imitate that he’s being heard through an old TV. The song then returns to its normal sound before dropping again in the distorted voice.
The second track on the EP “You Get Me So High” begins with a harsh guitar before the drums kick into the song as well as Rutherford’s vocals. This continues through the intro, first verse, and pre-chorus of the song. During the chorus, all the guitar and drums die down and a static noise is introduced with a muffled vocal and soft guitar. The previous sounds of the song quickly pick up after the chorus and disappear during the second chorus once more. The song is about a relationship that’s gone south because Rutherford’s career success. He seems to regret his decisions and reflects on it throughout the song.
The third track “Noise” begins with a heavy bass line that is signature to the band’s older music. The song has a catchy chorus as well as a catchy beat. Throughout the song, Rutherford repeats that he “doesn’t want to be like you”. This leaves the listener to question who he’s singing about and leaves a sinister impression.
The track “24/7” begins with a guitar riff that carries throughout the song as well as a synth keyboard with it. The song features their signature California vibe through the song, mentioning L.A.’s hot weather as well as its famous 405 highway. Rutherford’s lyrics take a more supporting view, mentioning that you could call him “24/7” and that he’ll be there to talk. The song ends quietly, with Rutherford’s voice fading out while a ticking clock sound appears.
The final track, “Sadderdaze” starts off with an acoustic guitar, something different than the rest of the songs. The chorus is similar to how the song begins, but after violins are introduced into the mix. Rutherford took a more acoustic approach to this song, which emphasized the melancholy feel to the whole song.
Overall, this new EP from The Neighbourhood sounds different but still takes the listener back to their old music. The change in music is welcomed in this L.A. band and more new music is anticipated for them.