Technically speaking, Hope Downs is Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s debut album. But the Melbourne rockers have been around for several years now, kicking out impressive singles and EP-length statements that might as well be albums (at least by recent Kanye West/Trent Reznor/Abel Tesfaye standards). After 2016’s Talk Tight and 2017’s The French Press, this latest offering is more like when a well established mixtape rapper signs to a major label and releases their “debut album.” Anyone who’s been paying attention already knows what’s up.
As someone who’s been paying attention, here’s what’s up: Rolling Blackouts specialize in tightly wound guitar-pop tunes that recall their Oceania forebears such as the Go-Betweens and the Bats but with a graceful urgency fit for cruising beachfront highways at high speeds. It’s jangly, catchy, bouncy music propelled along by crisp backbeats and weary bellows, bringing ’80s rock into the present in a manner not unlike the War On Drugs trying their hands at garage rock after chugging several pots of coffee.
We’ve heard enough advance tracks to get you good and proper stoked — “Mainland,” “Talking Straight,” “An Air Conditioned Man,” “The Hammer” — and now the whole album has arrived. Stream Hope Downs in full below.
Hope Downs is out now on Sub Pop. Purchase it here.