Chip Chrome and The Monotones may sound like its own band name, but in actuality it’s the name of the latest album by The Neighbourhood. You may know The Neighbourhood from their single, “Sweater Weather,” which topped charts in 2013 or their recently popular song from their album, Wiped Out!, “Daddy Issues.” After taking a two year hiatus, the band came back with a 11 song album released on September 25, 2020.
WHO ARE THE NEIGHBOURHOOD?
The Neighbourhood (sometimes known as THE NBHD) is an American alternative rock band formed in Newbury Park, California in 2011. The band consists of lead vocalist Jesse Rutherford, guitarists Jeremy Freedmen and Zach Abels, bassist Mikey Margott, and drummer Brandon Alexander Fried. After releasing two EPs, I’m Sorry… and Thank You, they released its first full-length album I Love You on April 23, 2013. This then lead to the release of their albums, #000000 & #FFFFFF, Wiped Out!, Hard to Imagine the Neighbourhood Ever Changing, and now Chip Chrome & the Mono-Tones.(from 2013-present)
The 11-track album is a collection of different sounds and genres. The album cover advertises a man painted in silver and spandex, which was heavily inspired by the style of David Bowie’s alter ego Ziggy Stardust (used from 1972-1973) and his band The Spiders from Mars. Chip Chrome & The Monotones is a concept album built on Rutherford’s own struggles with binge-using of social media and the band’s identity. Written and recorded in the span of almost three years, the LP sees the group let go of the ’80s inspired elements of their 2018 self-titled album, Hard to Imagine The Neighbourhood Ever Changing, in order to embrace an alternative rock aesthetic of the 70s.
We can obviously see the band diversify their sound from track to track. Their track, “Chip Chrome” acts as a spacey, sci-fi-esque 28 second introduction to the record, which then directly flows into their track, “Pretty Boy.” They provided some alternative-inspired mellow pop on their singles, “Pretty Boy” and “Cherry Flavored,” but they took a more electronic, hip-hop track like “BooHoo.” Highlights from the album include “Devil’s Advocate” and “Lost in Translation” which add psychedelic twists to groove on while their song, “The Monotones” is dreary and repetitive.
“Hell or High Water” is the 5th song on Chip Chrome & The Monotones. It actually has the same name as the song used in the Nickelodeon series Spongebob SquarePants, which appears in the episode where the jellyfish have a party at Spongebob’s house. However, it serves as a more irregular and generally more folk track as compared to the earlier songs off of the album.
“Silver Lining” is a song off of the album which has been teased multiple times on Jesse’s Instagram story (@chipchrome) and his Patients podcast. “Tobacco Sunburst” is the moody 10th track off of the album. It’s a ballad that perfectly transitions into their song, “Middle of Somewhere.” This song also has a stand out moment, when the haunting cello kicks in at one of the instrumental breaks.
Finally, their last song, “Middle of Somewhere,” which was released on August 16th of 2019 as the lead single for this new album. This song is a dreamy ballad and features an acoustic, harmonic and chorus atmosphere with psychedelics.
Personally, my favorite songs on this album are “Pretty Boy,” “Middle of Somewhere,” and “Devil’s Advocate.” I hope you listen to it and love it!