Album of the Week - Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Sideways to New Italy
My first exposure to RBCF was blasting Hope Dawns while speeding around the southernmost point of Hawaii's big island. Lush bluffs cascading into the Pacific gradually gave way to a highway slicing through volcanic landscape, and the album's sun-bleached melodies carried the transition perfectly. Perhaps this memory, or a seasonal inclination towards guitar-driven rock, drew me towards the band's excellent sophomore LP, Sideways to New Italy.
Like the lovable indie dads, Real Estate, RBCF is a quintet whose clever lyrics and trebly guitar tones define their sound. However, unlike Real Estate's music, which feels smooth around the edges, RBCF often sounds uniquely angular and franticly fast-paced. That is certainly the case on album highlight Cars in Space, but other standout tracks such as Falling Thunder and Cameo ease back a little. Overall, the album features their best work to date, and signals that these up-and-comers out of Melbourne are ready to fully embrace in international spotlight. Thinking about best indie rock albums of the half-year, RBCF have submitted a frontrunner.