Published Jun 15, 2018Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever made a name for themselves across the Pacific from their hometown of Melbourne last year, upon the release of their second EP, The French Press, via Sub Pop. Now, five years since their formation, the group have released Hope Downs, a breezy full-length that solidifies their driving indie rock.
Named after the Hope Downs mine in Western Australia, the record roots the band in their home country, its music jangly and unsurprisingly evocative of warm climates. Observational lyrics twist around an addictive bass line on "An Air Conditioned Man," which immediately draws listeners into the band's energetic music, sweetly dissolving upon its close.
The band's three dual vocalist-guitarists add texture to their songs, delivering clever melodic lines along with their strong rhythm section. A welcome change of pace comes with "Sister's Jeans," a more stripped-back yet still jaunty tune. RBCF are steady in their delivery of well-crafted pop and taut bass lines and relentless guitars are a near constant. Further range in tempo would be appreciated, but there's still an inherently engaging factor to the band's music. "Cappuccino City" recalls '80s British guitar pop in its verses, slowly building in further winding guitar lines atop a constant, anticipatory rhythm.
RBCF are a welcome addition to the range of Australian guitar bands taking the world by storm, their confident debut an exploration of angular v. melodic guitars and energetic rhythms. "I spent a long time not getting up to much / I spent a long time just kicking up the dust," they sing on closing track, "The Hammer," over sweeping guitars and what feels like the musical equivalent of a sunset fading across a pier. Hope Downs is the sound of RBCF's expansive horizons. (Sub Pop)