Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Hope Downs
Critic Score
Based on 25 reviews
2018 Ratings: #116 / 890
Year End Rank: #29
User Score
Based on 286 ratings
2018 Rank: #220
Liked by 14 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

91
A.V. Club

Hope Downs more than delivers on the promise of the Melbourne quintet’s two early EPs, doubling down on the melancholy pop it forged on 2015’s Talk Tight and last year’s The French Press while also polishing its sound.

90
AllMusic
It's a small-scale triumph of hooks and guitars from a band whose members have figured it all out and delivered a debut album that comes as close to perfect as any guitar pop album can.
90
No Ripcord

When it comes down to it, Hope Downs ultimately succeeds thanks to its impressive quality control. There's not a single bad song on here, only slight variances in tone and luster. A similar comparison could be made to R.E.M.'s groundbreaking debut effort, Murmur, and though it won't have the same impact, the album does share that same meticulous rendering of ringing guitars.

90
Uncut

Let’s be clear. Hope Downs doesn’t invent anything “new”. It’s the kind of record I could have been listening to when I was 15 and still be playing now, timeless in its past and future reach.

89
Paste
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have more tricks up their sleeves, it seems. For a debut, though, a couple tricks are enough, especially when you’ve already mastered them.
81
Pitchfork
Even within the realm of contemporary indie, the band is a glorious anomaly. Sophisticated and subversive in equal measure, their staccato sing-alongs come on pristine and precise, then unspool in surprising directions as decorum gives way to abandon.
81
GIGsoup

This first full album features ten songs showing a fresh, impressive mix of melodic propulsion and, at the same time, strong jangling versatility.

80
Dork
What Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever do best, is know exactly what they do best. Delightfully assured and beautifully executed – ‘Hope Downs’ is a perfect snapshot of everything the band have promised and represented from the beginning. If you were looking for that soundtrack to BBQ days with an ice cream and the shades on, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have delivered it.
80
Northern Transmissions

With Hope Downs, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever prove that although they’re among the best and most exciting music to come out of Australia today, they can’t be lumped in with their compatriots, whether those groups are defunct like the Go-Betweens or contemporary.

80
God Is in the TV
This is a salubrious, satisfying record that bears for repeated listens. It’s beautifully melancholic without ever being particularly introspective; its crosshairs are cast out and paying attention to the small detail that we encounter everyday.
80
Mojo

Ultimately, the record triumphs via Rolling Blackouts’ deep inhabitation of their music, and the space of its creation.

80
Loud and Quiet
The result is at once unique and familiar – different, without being too alien.
80
Rolling Stone
Every amp tone on this album is just sweet enough, every jangling rhythm hits exactly where it should. Rolling Blackouts are playing an old game, but they're damned good at it.
80
The Skinny

Mostly ... Hope Downs is as good a reminder as any that life’s a blast. Head to the beach, you’ve found the soundtrack.

80
Sputnikmusic
That RBCF already perfected their sound, three records in, has me giddy for the future.
80
DIY
If there’s anything to criticise ‘Hope Downs’ for, it’s its risk-averse approach, and tendency to become a one-dimensional listen, but as a debut record, it presents a band that know exactly what they’re doing, and proceed to do it very well indeed.
75
The 405

None of the songs on Hope Downs are a massive leap in style from what we’ve known from Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever in the past ... but there are a few minor outliers, which diversify the album enough to make it a very enjoyable listen.

75
Under the Radar

Now, with their debut full-length Hope Downs, the band look to consolidate their justified amount of hype, and, for the most part, generally succeed.

70
Clash
With ‘Hope Downs’, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have an album that radiates the warmth of the Australian sunshine and the grubbiness of the bush. It’s a road record to soundtrack a hazy journey across the outback in search of a lost love, contemplating the world whilst swigging on a beer. ‘Hope Downs’ is far from perfect, but it has charm in abundance.
70
Exclaim!

Hope Downs is the sound of RBCF's expansive horizons.

70
The Line of Best Fit

Hope Downs is a record that sounds like it was made in the Australian bush, and it’s when this sense of local experience is presented most effectively that it really starts to shine.

60
The Independent

It’s freewheeling one minute, and a little awkward the next.

YesIAmTheFiend
64

Album Quest Day 19

By all accounts I should like this album. And I do. It's a very consistent record, which is somehow its biggest issue. There are no bad songs, no mediocre songs even, but on the other side of that coin, there are no standout songs either. Nothing really jumped out at me as being the definitive hit of the album or the worst song either. This makes it forgettable, honestly. The sound is enjoyable, sure, but there isn't much to look forward to when listening. It's a flat line ... read more

JayCrackers
79

Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever's debut, Hopes Down, is a jangle pop inspired indie rock album, showing a lot of potential with the band with some gleaming and warm production and a catchy soundscape already established, they show they have a lot to offer with tracks such as Talking Straight and Cappuccino City, it is clean that they can do feel good indie rock very well and for an engaging and very good listen.

Track Review

An Air Conditioned Man 8/10
Talking Straight 9.5/10
Mainland ... read more

lilchefremy
85

It's a pretty nice album, has some great, well crafted songs, catchy choruses, awesome riffs. I just love to come back to it once in a while. Talking Straight is a jam, I also love An Air Conditioned Man and Bellarine. What a pop record should be.

zarawillis
100

hmmmmmm good bass tone

waltusieggman
NR

This sound encapsulates the biggest issue of modern indie rock/rock. Soft guitar sounds with no distortion or bass (plus the muted drums). I know Sub Pop is trying to make its money but it's such a far cry from the 90s.

YesIAmTheFiend
64

Album Quest Day 19

By all accounts I should like this album. And I do. It's a very consistent record, which is somehow its biggest issue. There are no bad songs, no mediocre songs even, but on the other side of that coin, there are no standout songs either. Nothing really jumped out at me as being the definitive hit of the album or the worst song either. This makes it forgettable, honestly. The sound is enjoyable, sure, but there isn't much to look forward to when listening. It's a flat line ... read more

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Added on: April 16, 2018