Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever began their careers comfortably. Somehow it seems their cozy-catchy-indie-rock ballads always existed as hits. Now the Australian quintet walks into pending summertime evenings with contentedness for life all while sporting subtle smirks on their faces. As a dreamy love grabs their hand and whisks them away, they hum tunes from Endless Rooms in their heads.
The group’s fourth proper LP since 2016 plays like an anthropomorphic door that eagerly wants to be swung open at full force. Instead, the group is relaxed and restful, so much so they decide to turn the knob with ease and prop it at their own pace. Seriously, the record begins with a slow door opening on “Pearl Like You,” all to reveal a sweet dark night filled with open-air and complete with birds chirping away. Endless Rooms subtlety is constantly apparent, even on the penultimate title track which finds the band trying to finally fight through that door instead of opening it gently, but they don’t quite burst through. They intentionally never swing it wide open and blast loud songs for loudness’ sake.
Every sound has a purpose, like the drums that open “Tidal River” before guitars echo similar to “Rio” by recently named Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Duran Duran. Even the lead single “The Way It Shatters” is so infectious it might as well be named for what it will do to collarbones on dancefloors across the world. It’s a classic RBCF track that listeners love because of its catchy synths and twangy guitars.
“Caught Low” reminds the mind of a June bonfire, not the song you’re playing in your head while flames illuminate and crackle, but instead inspired by the fire itself. Another summer moment is felt on “Blue Eye Lake.” “Carry on my love,” sings vocalist Fran Keaney with a unique tone before he decides he’ll go “swimming on the Milky Way.” Water inspires another very RBCF moment with the Michael Stipe-ish “Saw You At The Eastern Beach.” The numerous instruments blend but bring their own creative flavor that never allows listeners to get bored and feel right in place for the group. It’s surprisingly political, reminding fellow Australians, and really, the western world, to never forget the sand between their toes does not belong to them. This beach is actually “on borrowed land.” Stretchy guitars also bring undertones out of the bumping bass and drums to make the ears aware of the sounds they need to be aware of.
The record’s closer “Bounce Off The Bottom” plays as a reprise for the whole album. Even the same chords from “The Way It Shatters” make a guest appearance on a nice finish that isn’t as powerful and reckoning as some of RBCF’s other albums, but perhaps consistent for the themes and sounds they visit on this one.
The door is far from shutting on RBCF. Instead, they’ll open it with whatever force they please. Endless Rooms await them.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Endless Rooms : 7/10
Listen to ‘Endless Rooms’ on Spotify:
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