The Neighbourhood Returns

The Neighbourhood Returns

Isela Suarez

After two years since their last project drop, the five piece Californian band The Neighbourhood has released another one. Fans are now introduced to the world of Chip Chrome & The Mono-Tones. 

   Ever since their No. 1 hit “Sweater Weather,” they have provided a teenage angst vibe and have such a unique sound. They scrape the surface of pop and alternative genres, but don’t fit into any specific genre. 

   This new album consists of lead singer Jesse Rutherford fully transforming himself into the Chip Chrome character, as seen on the cover and with the band as The Mono-Tones. This new persona Rutherford is taking on is inspired by Ziggy Stardust, created by David Bowie. 

    The new character Rutherford has created makes his debut in the 

music video drop for “Lost in Translation.” The Mono-Tones represent the voices that are circulating around Rutherford’s head. 

   This creative concept was initially introduced in the 2019 song “Middle of Somewhere,” however the band did not announce to the public this was the theme for their next album until a few weeks ago. 

   The new project still has their moody and low-tempo indie sound, but there’s a twist to make it unique this time in comparison to previous works. “I wanted to speak in a different way with music,” Rutherford said in an interview with variance magazine. This album presents a hint of happiness mixed into The Neighbourhood’s sound, which is a contrast to their previous work that is normally melancholy and mellow. 

   It opens up with a 30 second track “Chip Chrome.” This introduction has a sci-fi vibe as it swiftly transitions into the second song, “Pretty Boy.” 

   Tracks like “Hell or High Water” and “Cherry Flavoured” both give listeners a taste of happier emotions expressed in their songs with a unique sound. 

   In the middle of the album there’s another 1 minute track, “The Mono-Tones,” that transitions to the rest of the album. This is darker, as they represent the voices that make too much noise in his head. 

   The remaining songs emphasize memories and bring sadness to the album, but the normal edgier pop voice returns for the closing songs. 

   As their sound changes a bit every project, The Neighbourhood still has their familiar flair. As a fan, I can say I’m very happy with the outcome, and will definitely have it playing on repeat for a while. Considering this is the last studio album with their studio Columbia Records, they definitely ended their contract with a bang.  Chips Chrome & The Mono-Tones earned a 8/10 on my scale.