Thursday, July 26, 2018

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Hope Downs (Sub Pop, 2018)

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Hope Downs
Sub Pop

Rating: 8 parked wines out of 10

1. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever is a dumb name, and I’ll be calling them RBCF because I’m not typing out all that shit again.  Apparently even the band feels the same way, because they have their name as “Rolling Blackouts C.F.” (a pretty half-assed attempt at brevity) on the cover on this, their debut full-length.  It’s odd you would opt to go by such a long, weird name, and then not even use the whole thing on the first record you release.

2. I think the name is the only actual gripe I have about “Hope Downs,” and I’m not entirely sure why I led with it.  It sets an unnecessarily grumpy tone for an album I quite like and whose content isn’t grumpy whatsoever. 

3. In fact, I’d call this music breezy…like a modern, more upbeat version of yacht rock from the late seventies and early eighties.  I deem this new genre sunglasses rock, because it’s the sort of music where you can imagine the guitarist wearing sunglasses during the show and looking completely non-plussed the entire time.  There’s also a surf rock vibe to the guitar, and I’m pretty sure surfers also like sunglasses so…

4. Fans of Real Estate, Vampire Weekend, and that ilk should definitely give RBCF a spin.  I actually like this quite a bit more than either of those bands listed.  You could also draw a line to some of the kiwi rock acts like the Chills or 3ds, and since this group is Australian that comparison might even make them mad so that’s a bonus.  In my mind Aussies and Kiwis hate each other, but I have no idea if that’s true.       

5. The back-to-back jams “”Talking Straight” and “Mainland” could both be contenders for any list compiling the best songs of the year.  “Bellarine” is also a strong contender.  RCBF is one of the best new bands made up of actual young people I’ve listened to in quite some time.  Get on it. 

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