THE NEW SUBURBIA; A review of Hard by The Neighbourhood

Ally Schell | October 2017

With its rock sound The neighbourhood hit the charts in June 2013 with their infamous song “Sweater Weather.” This was the catalyst for many new fans to begin vibing with the band. Jesse Rutherford, the vocalist, provides deep tones along with his band members. Jeremy Freedman, Zach Abels, Mikey Margott, and drummer Brandon Alexander Fried tie this band together. They began their humble beginning in 2012 as they decided to use the british spelling of the band’s name chosen by their manager. Now with two albums out, along with a remix, we waited to see what would be next.

But now, it's here! They taunted us on Twitter by posting the word “Hard” to a wall. Soon after, they released their EP called Hard.

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The first song, “Roll Call,” shows us an even slower and moodier side to this band. They also feature a nice synthesizer over Jesse’s voice that reminisces throughout. If you go back to the Wiped Out! album, this track will connect with“R.I.P 2 My Youth.” “Then we got older, not good.”, Jesse states.

Unlike “Roll Call,” ‘You Get Me So High’ is a simple song that features the beats traditionally expressed in The Neighbourhoods songs. The dropout of the drums, by Alexander, puts emphasis on his lyrics; comprised of wanting things to be the way they used to be because that would make him “high all the time.”

“Noise” starts with a familiar guitar sound that brings us to an Arctic Monkey’s vibe.
“Noise” is distinctively much louder in both instrument and voice to bring rawness to the vocals. He repeats over and over that he doesn’t “want to be like you.” This is a reference to someone who made him feel like he turned into an animal after being with them. Then, there comes a dropout. It is just Jesse at the end of the song exclaiming, “So now I'm second guessing real life and if you left I still wouldn't feel right.” This shows that no matter what has happened, he still doesn’t want to leave. Whether that be the history behind it or that the bad times eventually will become good. No matter what he states he will never be the same.

With light guitar and birds chirping we enter our second to last song “24/7.” “24/7” is about two different people who struggle with time. One is a daddy’s girl who can’t seem to get enough time before her father wants her home, the other is a rebellious guy who is rushing everything but can’t seem to get enough time. Jesse tells them both that he will be there for them whenever and that he will believe in them. He says that they call him whenever, 24/7 even! Then, at the end, he says that we only get enough time and that he worries himself about time. The goal of this song is to bring us all together and listen to each other while we are still here.

Finally, “Sadderdaze” begins. Much like the first song, it’s a lot more mellow. It talks about a boy, most likely younger, who takes time on his Saturdays to strum his guitar and forget about the world. However, once he says “Finally he found a way to reach the sky but he didn't know what he'd find,” he changes his tone. He describes how Saturdays aren’t the way they used to be. He also mentions that he’s is making mistakes now that he is older. He emphasizes this to show that Saturdays are now sadder days and they constantly keep using him.

    All in all, this bracing EP is one for the books! I highly recommend listening. The completion of this EP is a new and eccentric start for The Neighbourhood. But don’t have too much fear, they are the same dudes we know and love with their alternative rock sound at the forefront.