Endless Rooms starts with a mellow instrumental, as if Rolling Blackout C.F. is warming up and warming me up in the process as well. With 'Tidal River' the fun starts. It is an alternatively rocking song, with more than enough mildly pricking riffs. Not even close to what Holland's newest rock bands are excelling in, no, this is a mix of a prickly riff in combination with a melodic one and a fairly standard rhythm. A quote here "Take your complaint to the United Nations" and a "calling out to Sister Sledge" there. All before a gloriously melodic part comes in. Here's a band that's on a roll, that much is clear. 'Tidal River' combines two worlds and aims for the best combination.
Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever is an Australian band from Melbourne. Five men, three singer-guitarists with bass and drums. This explains some of the many guitar parts I'm hearing on the record. Having formed in 2013, since the band released two EPs and three cds from 2018 onwards. A steady production it is.
With Endless Rooms the band places itself at the end of a long queue of bands that came before in the past 60 years in pop and rock. Bands that excel in combining pop and alternative/indie rock in all the right ways. Listen to the songs, like I'm doing now to 'Caught Low'. The pop element shines, just like it is clear that the band is in a long queue. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong being placed there when songs like the ones on Endless Rooms are concerned. They deserve to be in that spot.
What makes the songs alternative, is that Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever dares to search for the notes that are on the edge of the melody, in the riff as well as well as in solo notes. It is the contrast between the solo notes and the rest of the song that keep my ears on their toes for the whole of the record. Endless Rooms is mildly challenging to listen to but also melodically exactly right because of this mix in the music.
Concluding it has become a question that ought to receive an answer. Is Endless Rooms so much better or did I have poop in my ears when listening in 2018 and 2020? All I can say, is I tried twice with 'Sideways To New Italy' in 2020 and gave up both times after a few songs. So what a pleasant surprise the band's new record is.
Wout de Natris
You can listen to and order Endless Rooms here: