The third album from Australia’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever arrives with their familiar three guitar attack. Several of the tracks have an environmental bent including the chiming “Tidal River” that strips everything back in the refrain and the midtempo “Dive Deep”. The crisp drumming of Marcel Tussie stands out on third single “My Echo”.
There is a driving beat on “Blue Eye Lake” with its “you can ride the back of a star and go anywhere” lyric. Likewise, “Saw You at the Eastern Beach” has an atmospheric, celestial effect. As with the first two Rolling Blackouts C.F. albums, there are a few songs that float by without leaving much of a mark. On Endless Rooms, those moments are fewer and the songs that do resonate, really cut through to make a very good guitar rock record.
On a recent episode of The Watch podcast, Tom and Fran of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever appeared to talk about the new album, Sideways To New Italy, and lament that the COVID pandemic has not let them tour. Nevertheless, the band released their newest album among all the bedlam happening in the world. First single “Cars In Space” is punctuated by horns and a euphoric chorus outro. First track “The Second Of The First” is a punchy opener with terrific harmonies in the chorus before second single “She’s There” comes in with harmonies that appear out of nowhere.
“Sunglasses At The Wedding” has a laid back vibe with a guitar strum here and there with an incessant hi-hat. “Cameo” is a talk/sung track with fine chorus and drums that feel a bit like The Arcade Fire. And that’s where the rub lies with the album, it never really takes off like The Arcade Fire would. Sideways To New Italy has lots of decent songs but there is no true euphoric moment and the all the rough edges have been sanded off.