Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Nick Luca at New Monkey Studio, Van Nuys, Calif.
What you hear out of the Los Angeles group The Neighbourhood is something that seems altogether new and intimately familiar. These are young men, just barely removed from their 12th grade years of high school and they already sound like they've lived themselves into mid-life crises, then worked their ways out of them again, back to those days when they were only worried about slipping a hand under a girl's sweater for the first time, or stealing a couple 40s from the corner convenience store to down in the basement. They've already picked up arms and arms full of tattoos and collected as much black clothing as a closet can hold.
They're products of one of the first generations of young people who have grown up with every single album that's ever existed at their immediate disposal and they've made incredible use of that access. They're all sweet, gentlemanly boys - intelligent, stylish and slick in all of the right ways. They're charmers and they're professionals. They sound like everyone they've ever loved and they sing about love in a way that makes you realize that they've only been in it a few times so far. It makes their songs emotional raw and unbelievably gratifying.
These five guys make music that seems to originate somehow from the black and white snapshots that they post on their Tumblr page. They're all of Californian architecture - think city courthouses and out buildings or garages in alleys, drooping but beautiful electrical wires, highways signs for exits like Stagecoach Road and all kinds of frozen remnants of dilapidation that, when they look at it, it all looks gorgeous, like something they'd want to or have been collection since before they can remember. It's those shoulders of roads and bare or scraggily backyards that they like to think about spending time near or in. It's under a blue sky that, with the right camera filter, appears overcast, but slightly ominous. It's about making something out of all the little fragments of stimuli that they can't get away from - the urges, the streets, the people and the noises. It all gets thrown into the pot to make the sauce.