Rachel Kaiser and Adam Kaiser do their job: The Neighbors EP review

The Neighbors have appeared a lot here on linescratchers for a band that only is just now releasing its first record. First Arthur interviewed them, then we reported that Rachel Kaiser was singing backups for Brandon Flowers, then they recorded a barefoot and spectacled live video, then Adam Kaiser was selected as the Utah Bachelor of the Year by Cosmopolitan magazine. They can now add “Release music” to their band resume.

Is the very concept of a record review outdated? In the time it takes you to read this review, you could download this and start listening to it yourself. Since taste is subjective, why would gathering opinions of a record be any better than just deciding for yourself? Do you need another person saying that the record sounds like if Band A and Person B did X at Location Y in time period Z? How about the quick and dirty “The good, the bad, and the ugly” routine? How about a letter grade, some stars, thumbs up/thumbs down?  The personal anecdote that is primarily for name-dropping self-aggrandizing? The absolute worst is the barely-rewritten press release in which it is obvious that the author never listened to the record. I’m aware of the relative value of rock journalism…so I’m not going to insult you by choosing one of those hackneyed devices. I’m going to compliment you by doing ALL of them (very quickly.)

The Facts.
The Neighbors started out as a band called ByNow. ByNow was Rachel Kaiser, Adam Kaiser, and their sister Sarah Kaiser who got married and left the band. They started in Frederic, Michigan. Sarah came to Provo to go to BYU and Rachel and Adam followed her there, where they are currently based. After Sarah got married, they changed their name to the Neighbors. They play shows in the Provo area regularly and have recently self-released their eponymous debut EP. They each play multiple instruments sometimes simultaneously. You can buy a physical copy on CDBaby or Big Cartel. You can download it on amazon, itunes, or CDBaby. Adam’s measurements are

Height: 6′ 1″
Weight: 184 lbs
Neck: 17″
Sleeve: 35″
Chest: 42″
Waist: 34″
Inseam: 33″
Shoe: 11.5

If They Mated.

The Neighbors are like Norah Jones meeting Jason Mraz at an American Idol audition in Elton John’s apartment judged by Hall and Oates and Pink while the Curious George soundtrack plays softly in the background.

Separated At Birth?

Lost

Lost again

“Hate to break it to ya, Shan, but the ocean is not going to take your gold card. Also, what did Pa tell you about sitting in the straw patch?”

“What’s a four letter word for I don’t care?”

Press release copied and pasted from a press kit and slightly modified by someone who has obviously not listened to the record.

The Neighbors are a family-friendly indie piano rock band with two singer-songwriters.  Now they must defy all logic as they each play two instruments (sometimes concurrently), sing, harmonize, have a great time, and secretly wish they had more cowbell! This record has six rockin’ songs featuring the piano, drums, and other instruments. It kicks off with “Rusafie” and doesn’t let up until “I wanna know.” “Fizzy Fizzy Girls” is another song. They have a picture of a shoe house on the cover, but this isn’t music for old ladies with lots of children. For fans of the Killers, the White stripes, and Billy Joel. With their nice tempos, energetic chords, and expressive lyrics, the Neighbors will neighver ‘bor you!

Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo.

The good: Rachel Kaiser can really sing in that Billie Holiday/soulful white-girl way. Plus: occasional handclaps, which make anything better. On “I’ll find you” they take a really nice loungey feel–More like this, please! “I wanna know” is a spooky ballad with a catchy melody and a nice piano hook where the bass stands out without taking away from the song.

The bad: Though the production is solid, I’d like to hear something a little more urgent and raw and organic. The drums and piano can take on a fake-sounding synthesized tone at times.

The ugly: Nothing ugly about this band. Adam’s a model and Rachel’s got the hot-girl-with fake-glasses look going on. Of course, modeling isn’t always pretty:

“What? Baby blanket hoodies are totally the next big thing. You’re just showing your ignorance of the fashion world.”

By the Numbers.

Seven stars.

Trivia.

At least three other bands have used the name the Neighbors: A powerpop band from Northern Virginia in the 80s-90s, a bluegrass band from North Carolina, and a hardcore/thrash band from San Diego in the 90s-2000s. If those three bands toured together, I would attend that concert for the crowd-watching alone.

Name-dropping Anecdote

The Neighbors are a new band that is sure to one day have a number-one hit! Speaking of number one, I once met Jonathan Frakes at an airport in Texas in the 90s. He was really nice! My brother was Star Trek:TNG fan and Frakes stopped to sign an autograph for him. He said I had a nice smile.

 

Preview all the tracks on the Neighbors EP HERE.

Listen to some full tracks HERE

Check out their website for news including current tour dates HERE

The Neighbors are a band. The Neighbors is a band. If you have a strong opinion about which of those is correct, let me know in the comments.

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Rachel Kaiser and Adam Kaiser do their job: The Neighbors EP review

3 thoughts on “Rachel Kaiser and Adam Kaiser do their job: The Neighbors EP review

  1. Wommis says:

    You should have said to him, “Make it so, number one.” That would be awfully creative and I am certain he has never been referred to in such a manner in jest.

    I would say your description of them is right on. Catchy stuff. Good harmonies. Like a more mainstream pop kind of Mates of State.

    I think that seeing them live would probably solve the production problem. Maybe.

    Like

  2. When Ian Fowles and I talked about them, he compared them to Mates of State too.

    I saw Mates of State once in Lexington and one of the members was rocking very hard on stage, and doing a great job, while very pregnant. I’ll let you guess which one was pregnant.

    As far as the Neighbors go, I think they’re extremely talented and I expect to seem more awesome things from them as soon as Rachel gets home from the Brandon Flowers gig.

    Like

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