Review Summary: "It's like a bunch of broken picture frames
But the photo still remains the same"
The Neighbourhood were marketed for success one way or another. Their mysterious appearance on the web, their black and white aesthetic, and the slow burning, moody atmosphere of their songs. Certain indie pop and rock bands have been slowly merging into the mainstream. You have the folky side(Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters & Men) the quirky electronic side(Passion Pit, Vampire Weekend), and then the rock-but-not-quite-rock-because-then-it-wouldn't-be-indie side(American Authors, New Politics, Imagine Dragons) So where do The Neighbourhood fit" Somewhere between the quirky electronic and rock-but-not-quite-rock divisions. Yet their music isn't all that quirky and upbeat. To the contrary actually.
The Neighbourhood's overall energy and atmosphere is a definitive aspect of them as a band. The songs on this EP all share the familiar brooding, murky sound, but they diverge it in different ways. Whether it be the industrial daydream of Female Robbery, or the hopeless, spiraling Leaving Tonight, they flow together to create a streaming experience. Although the EP flows incredibly dexterously, there's a downside to it. The instruments aren't given much of a chance to stand out on their own, instead simply complementing each other and the vocalist. On the vocals, this is a very vocal-centric band, which isn't a bad thing in this case. Rutherford does his job exceptionally, being the driving factor behind the band. His voice possess an impassioned quality, adding a load of character to each song. He goes from sulking, to ardent, to rabid in one song.
The collective mood of the EP is much more of a positive rather than a negative. The tracks all hold their own perfectly well and all have their own specific qualities which make them stick out from one another. The guitar solo on standout Baby Came Home, the acoustic interlude of Sweater Weather, and the dark ambiance of Wires make it easy to differentiate one track from another, while the somber sensibility of the EP holds them all together. All in all, it's excellent for a debut EP, probably surpassing their freshman album. I hope to see the group expanding on their experimental tendencies in the future, as they have proven to be much better when they let loose.