Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever: Hope Downs (Sub Pop) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

Hope Downs

Sub Pop

Jun 15, 2018 Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever Bookmark and Share

Somehow, despite the overly complicated name, Melbourne five-piece Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have been building a substantial amount of hype since their 2016 Talk Tight EP. This peaked with last year’s excellent The French Press EP, the band’s debut for Sub Pop, an excellent six-track, tightly wound guitar record which announced the band’s arrival on the big stages of summer festivals for years to come.

So now, with their debut full-length Hope Downs, the band look to consolidate their justified amount of hype, and, for the most part, generally succeed. While there isn’t anything here quite as instantaneously mesmerizing as last year’s “French Press,” single “Talking Straight” certainly gives it a run for its money.

Elsewhere, tracks like “Time in Common” have a spiky, vaguely punk-inflected edge akin to their fellow countrymen Royal Headache, with a simple yet effective stop-start chorus keeping the audience guessing.

At 10 tracks and 36 minutes, Hope Downs isn’t a great deal longer than either of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s previous two EPs and perhaps the only disappointment here is that their sound doesn’t feel particularly expanded upon in the long-player format. A couple tracks from the album’s middle-run, such as “Bellarine,” feel a tiny bit “landfill indie” generic, something that the band, despite their clear antecedents, have largely avoided thus far. However, Hope Downs’ final measured couplet, “How Long?” and “The Hammer,” rounds out a still impressive debut full-length from a still relatively young band, suggesting they still have much to come. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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Dan Hike
April 8th 2019

Hope Downs more than delivers on the promise of the Melbourne quintet’s two early EPs, doubling down on the melancholy pop it forged on 2015’s Talk Tight and last year’s The French Press while also polishing its sound. It still sounds distinctively Oceanic—anyone with more than a passing interest in Donate piano nyc and the Flying Nun Records catalog will find a lot to love here, but Keaney, Russo, and White bring a new sense of order to their guitar attack, resulting in a dreamy, mature collection of songs.