Hailing from the Do It Yourself music culture of Seattle, Washington, via Philadelphia PA, the band Neighbors has released a new album titled, Will You Please Be Quiet,Please?, with hat tip to author Raymond Carver providing the title. The DIY movement is a direct response to the woeful state of the music business today. Bands such as Neighbors, Dude York, Hausu, Weed, The Wimps, Posse, and Chastity Belt are utilizing” the pay what you want”, ethos of Band Camp and their ilk and see no need to wait to be signed to a major record company to release music. These indie bands are leading the charge, releasing music with out the safety net of a major record company. The band Neighbors is fronted by DIY producing Wunderkind Jose Diaz Rohena , and band mates Nathan Anderson, Evan Easthope, and Jacob Jaffe.
( Jacob Jaffe left the band after the recording and was replaced by Clare Buss who now plays bass for the band on tour)
The band serves up a perfect mixture of bouncy alterative with dark lashing of angst and yearning below the surface. The band has been around for five years playing the music scene in and around the Seattle area. Rohena a native of New Jersey moved to Seattle after successful House shows in Philadelphia. He moved to Seattle to join the music scene, and specifically to start a band. Rohena has been the driving force behind the formation of Beat a Dead Horse Records and the sound engineer and producer of other DIY Northwestern US bands; Dude York, Chastity Belt, Weed, and Hausu.. Last year Neighbors was selling cassettes at their shows and is finally weighs in with the band’s effort at post grunge power pop, formally recorded on vinyl and download.
It can be a tall order to be a baby band from Seattle with the shadow of grunge still lurking around, but the tunes of this foursome aim to please and deserve a listen. You can float along the surface of these 10 songs enjoying them for their sonic goodness, but the lyrics are much deeper if attention is paid. Overall the songs pay tribute to both Raymond Carver and classic Punk’s aesthetic requirements; to making the songs terse but layered with meaning.
The band accomplishes this, with each song clocking under the 3 and half minute mark. “Muscle Grrl” and” Power Country” provide the catchiness needed to pull the listener in to the swirl.” Hot Jack” and “Happy Hour “share romantic disappointment and the ability to brush it off. The lyric in” Hot Jack”, “and your lousy in bed”, fobs off a girl who has already gone. The song “Loretta” is a bittersweet ode to the girl who moved on, with a great swirl of Pixie like soft /loud movement. Maybe both songs are about a “Loretta”? The impression you get is this kind of schizophrenic feeling of both the desire to get the girl and wishing she would go.
“Academy” is a song reminiscent of the best of grunge and the abrupt ending is fitting. “Happy Hour” slays with the ennui of the lyric;” Maybe we should go outside and get some exercise”. Like a mantra for a generation, all good intentions that will never happen. “Power Country” is a stand out summer song. A great bouncy radio song, if radio still played real music. “Heather (her sister)” is a coy tune leaving you wondering which girl is actually the intended target of the singer’s attentions. “True Coop Confessions” has all the unique sound coming out of the DIY scene condensed into one song.
It is a daunting challenge to saying you’re a band from Seattle and not watch eyes glaze over, Neighbors seems to have the musical chops to shake some life into the idea that Seattle’s music scene’s best days are history. Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? Is a worthy addition to the DIY scene and is available from ITunes and Bandcamp or directly from Beat a Dead Horse Records.