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Experimental Norman rock act The Neighborhood makes indie sounds accessible



Rather than blend in with an increasingly homogenized community of so-called indie acts that rely on quirks and gimmicks, The Neighborhood is an amiable group of genuine musicians who exude the kind of unique talent and camaraderie that makes one wish the members lived next door and always played their music way too loud.

Already versed with many areas of the Oklahoma music scene, the band will be joined by Stillwater out-of-towners Mayola for a hometown show Friday at The Opolis.

Since forming in 2004, the local three-piece approaches songwriting with a refreshing lack of pretense and attitude often associated with artists intent on breaking musical barriers.

"We want to push the envelope and we try to experiment with a lot of different sounds and songwriting," said bassist Eric Mai, "keeping in mind that it has to be likable to be any good, you know. It has to be something people enjoy."

After spending nearly a year and a half recording with Norman producer Trent Bell, the band arrived on a formula for easy-to-swallow indie-rock experimentation clearly heard throughout its first full-length album, "Our Voices Choked with Fireworks." Deftly switching between somber acoustic melodies and all-out dance beats, the disc is packed with 14 cohesive tracks that sound as invitingly familiar as they are uncommonly exciting. —Lucas Ross

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