Having lived most of my life in Pittsburgh and growing up with The Iron City House Rockers and The Silencers, I’m pleased to bring you a new band from my hometown that knows what rock n roll means. There’s lots of soul coming out of this garage….
Since their early 2009 formation, Neighbours have brought a classic and soulful pop sensibility to the Pittsburgh music scene via their energetic live shows and so-darn-catchy-I-just-gotta-play-it-again studio recordings. With two releases already under their collective belt (a self-released debut EP and a Get Hip 7-inch), Neighbours bring their first full-length album release (Prime Numbers) to the Get Hip catalog. Ranging from soulful stompers and Reaction-era mod blasts to ethereal, harmony-laden pop, Prime Numbers demonstrates that Neighbours provide a diverse musical backdrop for what has become their own singular, identifiable sound.
The nucleus of the band’s formation actually goes as far back as the early ’00s/aughts/noughts, when guitarist Ross Reilly and vocalist/keyboardist Michael Cunningham formed a fast friendship through their work at WPTS, the University of Pittsburgh’s student-run radio station. The two shared mutual musical passions (rooted heavily in Britpop, soul and ’80s Minneapolis), with both agreeing that a band was in the offing — it was simply a matter of time and place. However, post-collegiate careers took both out of Pittsburgh for an extended period, but the band concept was never far from either of their respective minds as Reilly ventured to Alaska and Cunningham traveled to Georgia (possibly by midnight train, but probably by economy sedan).
We fast forward the story to late 2008, with Reilly and Cunningham ensconced back in Pittsburgh and tunefully raring to go. The two wasted no time in getting the word out about their musical plans. A reply soon came from bassist and kindred power pop fan Joe Tarowsky and three-quarters of Neighbours was squarely in place.
As the three decided to proceed with a full band project, the search was still on for someone who could work the traps. The stars and planets quickly aligned, bringing drummer Andy Mulkerin into the nascent group’s orbit.
The group soon struck up a quick friendship with Derek White (previously of Monophobics, The Takeover UK and New Shouts), who would go on to engineer and produce all of Neighbours’ studio recordings to date. Playing George Martin or Andrew Loog-Oldham to the band’s Beatles or Stones (take yer pick), White helped the group craft and hone each individual track on Prime Numbers — every song imbued with its own unique character while retaining that indelible Neighbours sound.
Neighbours is currently bringing their live set to new ears in new locales, so look for them at your favorite cozy rock ‘n roll venue soon! And while you’re at it, pick up Prime Numbers, listen and remind yourself what great songcraft can still be in the 21st century. Dig.
NEIGHBOURS Michael Cunningham Vocals/Keyboard Ross Reilly Guitar/Vocals Joe Tarowsky Bass/Vocals Andy Mulkerin Drums from..http://www.gethip.com/site/bands/neighbours/bio/