Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs

Hope Downs is as good a reminder as any that life’s a blast. Head to the beach, you’ve found the soundtrack from Melbourne's Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

Album Review by Max Sefton | 11 Jun 2018
  • Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs
Album title: Hope Downs
Artist: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Label: Sub Pop
Release date: 15 Jun

Hope Downs is the first album from Melbourne indie rockers Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, and a record that finally answers the question of what The Strokes might have sounded like if they’d grown up near the beach rather than in scuzzy basements and Swiss finishing schools.

After their excellent debut EP Talk Tight, the RBCF quintet leapt to indie legends Sub Pop for a follow-up EP (The French Press) and now this, their equally superlative first long player recorded in drummer Marcel Tussie’s hometown in northern New South Wales.

The record itself is passionate and warm indie pop with some of the best twin guitar grooves in years. Kicking off with the metronomic character sketch of An Air Conditioned Man, the two guitarists sprawl against one another before exploding into a descending squall of licks. Talking Straight finds the gang listening out for Jenny’s coupe but before you know it they’re musing on the state of the universe: 'I want to know where the silence comes from, where space originates' and mocking one another like good mates do all over a burbling indie pop groove.

Tracks like Mainland pitch the group as torn between cocksure adventurers and creatures adrift, every bit as much as Julian Casablancas found himself torn between the coolest parties and the four day hangovers. If you’re searching for the prophetic or the profound you’re not necessarily in the right place but it’s nice to know that some light and shade can occasionally intrude without ever dulling their peerless melodic instincts.

Mostly though, Hope Downs is as good a reminder as any that life’s a blast. Head to the beach, you’ve found the soundtrack.

Listen to: Bellarine, Talking Straight