mike haggith - neighborhood watch








[01]  To Whom This May Concern  [04:02]

[02]  Room 822  [04:36]

[03]  The Ballad Of K2/K3  [06:14]

[04]  The Day The Lights Went Out  [04:23]

[05]  Limb Coast  [03:54]

[06]  Leon The Janitor  [05:40]

[07]  Far Too Long  [09:44]



     The 45th official release in Haggith's solo catalogue,  Neighborhood Watch was in many ways the record which introduced his solo career to a broad audience. While its predecessor had enjoyed limited success, that was quickly eclipsed by the release of this album, being released simultaneously with HAGGITH's debut album Dragon Joy Ride.

     Featuring a more refined rock sound with improved mixing and mastering over Suspended Animation, coupled with some of the most highly-regarded songwriting of Haggith's career, Neighborhood Watch enjoyed immediate commercial success, bolstered in part by a positive local review from The Sault Metal Scene, an independent publication known to feature updates from local rock artists. Many tracks from the album were eventually re-recorded, and others became classic live staples, such as Leon The Janitor, a crowd-favorite which was frequently performed by HAGGITH and later The Din. Limb Coast was the only single to be released in advance of the record, making its public debut in January 2011, nearly 21 months before the album proper.

     The majority of tracks included on the record set the standard for Haggith's songwriting to come, lending themselves to a slow-building rock-oriented framework which would frequently result in lengthy intros, stripped-down verses, and big, powerful choruses. Haggith became far better known for his propensity to play with the dynamics of his tracks, rather than penning significant chord changes between song sections, thanks to The Ballad Of K2/K3, which instantly became a favorite of listeners despite its use of only three root chords, while the lead single Limb Coast was comprised of only two. Considered the most aptly-named cut on the record, Far Too Long never fully captured the same dynamic variance of its peer tracks. While the track arguably features the most succinct storytelling on Neighborhood Watch, many listeners felt the pacing could have been improved drastically if it ran shorter.

     In keeping with the theme of breaking new ground musically, The Day The Lights Went Out featured a set of lyrics which were written by Haggith's former Thorns bandmate Donald Costin. While an instrumental version of the track had been recorded in early 2011 intended for release on the record, an alternate version with room for vocal work was recorded in early 2012, opening the door for the collaborative effort. Throughout the 2012 calendar year, Neighborhood Watch underwent a series of studio revisions, at one time slated to span as many as thirteen songs. As individual cuts were mixed and mastered, the track listing was updated and condensed, eventually culminating in the seven-track, 39-minute release which reached store shelves. While the record's vocal work was relatively inconsistent in terms of its quality and delivery, it was kept relatively unedited to reflect the personal nature of the material contained within.

     In terms of popularity, songwriting, lyricism, and early growth as a performer, Neighborhood Watch is a true cornerstone of the Mike Haggith discography. While CD pressings were manufactured and sold, they have since sold out, and this record is currently not available in physical print. It continues to be available for digital download.

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