Sideways To New Italy

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Sideways To New Italy
Critic Score
Based on 26 reviews
2020 Ratings: #375 / 757
Year End Rank: #17
User Score
Based on 215 ratings
2020 Ratings: #382
Liked by 10 people
June 5, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
Sub Pop / Label
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A sideways move? Not in the slightest.
The Sydney Morning Herald

After two years on the international tour-path, Melbourne's Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are back, a little less fresh-faced than on 2018's Hope Downs, and all the more interesting for it.


The achievement of Sideways To New Italy ... is to maintain their customary tempo while deepening the experience, giving their melodic indie rock a subtle sophistication and confidence.


In heading Sideways to New Italy, Rolling Blackouts C.F. continue to make a strong case as one of Australia’s most vital rock acts, if not the world’s.

Beats Per Minute
Striking the balance between progression into new musical territory and refinement of their established sound, they come into their own on a record that presents a souped-up version of the band; Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever Mark 2, if you will.

The once-chipper Melbourne five-piece reflect on sombre notions of refuge and home – though, thankfully, the masterful guitar-pop remains.


The album is another strong point in the case that Rolling Blackouts are making the best guitar pop anywhere in 2020.

Under The Radar

Their notable consistency and subtle growth prove this is an act constantly on the rise and one to continue to watch.

The Observer

While it is excellent in places, Sideways to New Italy doesn’t quite rise to the same heights as its predecessor.

Q Magazine
This is the sound of a band perfectly balanced and creatively ablaze.

If Sideways To New Italy is a reckoning, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever's balance sheet is entirely in the black.

Rolling Stone

They’ve upped their game even further on Sideways to New Italy, and the result is a perfect summertime indie-rock record.

Loud and Quiet

Scattering guest vocals from friends and burying Easter eggs only detectable for those who are keenly familiar with the band’s history, Sideways To New Italy makes up a unique time capsule that’s engineered as much to thrill their audience as to indulge the band’s own sentimentality.

Northern Transmissions

Bright, brilliant and clear, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s Sideways To New Italy takes you on the sweetest summertime journey, one that you’ll be able to enjoy all year long.


Channeling a refreshing and bright take on surf rock, RBCF tip their hat to their longstanding cultural background, evoking Australia’s vast, sprawling spaces through painterly songwriting. 


Sideways to New Italy is not only the perfect summer companion, but it also makes room for a reflective experience.


Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have produced an album that dangles a carrot of the possibilities of exploration at the time of the impossible, but they are absolutely better off for doing so.


If you’re looking for a modern, uplifting celebration of all things riff, these boys have got your back.

Louder Than War

Ultimately, Sideways to New Italy succeeds at doing what Rolling Blackouts C.F. have always been good at. The guitar interplay is as explosive as ever here – and is sure to singe eyebrows at their live shows – even if the overall experience is just that little bit less airtight than on their last album.

The Melbourne quintet’s second album strolls through familiar territory with good guitar work and good songwriting that never quite peaks where it used to.
The Line of Best Fit

With multiple writers Sideways to New Italy perhaps lacks the focus and clear direction that the music deserves.

No Ripcord

What’s great about Sideways to New Italy is that it can be used as background noise, but anyone who has it in a vibe playlist will notice its' quality compared to its peers.

God Is in the TV
The epitome of the Difficult Second Album then, and a record that finds RBCF caught between the sound that made their debut such a delight, and a more expansive, commercial and far less interesting direction, the latter just about winning out. What a shame.
The Young Folks

Here, the melodies are good, but the songs still fall flat. They are good at writing lyrics, but the lyrics do not feel satisfactorily cohesive.

If you are looking for innovation and experimentation, you better run, because the new work of the Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever is continuist like him alone. Which is not a bad thing, as Australians prove once again that they are the best goldsmiths of summer-scented guitar pop.
It might be just a fun, breezy summer record, but I'm not complaining about that too much right now.
Bit of a drop off.
Whilst this does feel like a bit of a step-down from Hope Downs this is still an extremely fun record with some of the band's best tracks. Hopefully, the band manages to do something new and fresh on their next project.

Best Track: Cars In Space
Worst Track: Not Tonight
Australian Indie rock group Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever burst onto the scene in 2018 with their debut Hope Downs and the lead single Talking Straight that grabbed the attention of many people who had never heard them before. A five-piece band with 3 members on guitar and vocal duty, their debut was fun and well structured, all the singers sounded great as well. While i did enjoy the album, it was only that single that has actually stuck with me since then.
2 years later we're already ... read more
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Year End Lists

#10/Rough Trade

Track List

  1. The Second of the First
  2. Falling Thunder
  3. She's There
  4. Beautiful Steven
  5. The Only One
  6. Cars in Space
  7. Cameo
  8. Not Tonight
  9. Sunglasses at the Wedding
  10. The Cool Change
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Added on: March 31, 2020