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With ‘Hope Downs’, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are poised to be this year’s premier Oz rock export

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have quickly carved out a unique slice of Australian jangle-pop over two charmingly droll EPs in two years, earning Pitchfork-approved comparisons to ‘80s heroes The Go Betweens. 

On their debut full-length Hope Downs, the band have sculpted the unique grit of their EP’s into beguiling guitar pop.

Hope Downs seeks escapist relief from life’s rigid obligations, decrying mindless comfort on ‘Air Conditioned Man’ and avoidant jargon on ‘Talking Straight’.  Each track fish-eyes innocuous moments to broach subjects far broader than any blunt declaratory love song ever could.

The existentialism permeating the record would fit stony-faced folk rock just as well, but the pirouetting jangle-pop is an exercise in escapism itself. Taken all at once, the record’s guitar-rock can tend to uniformity, however it’s hard to fault each track’s immaculate composition.

The slide guitar that helms ‘Sister’s Jeans’ forms a heady expanse worthy of Ride’s Nowhere, while third single ‘Hammer’ builds jittery punk tension into hefty pop release that’s almost laughably catchy.

Hope Downs feels as suited to a night alone in a Melburnian June as to a sandy summer beach party. Effortlessly quotable and riotously fun, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are well poised to be this year’s premier Oz rock export.

8.5/10