Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Endless Rooms


3.3
great

Review

by Sunnyvale STAFF
May 11th, 2022 | 24 replies


Release Date: 05/06/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Endless Rooms, diminishing returns?

I had a hunch that Endless Rooms would see Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever (henceforth to be referred to as “RBCF”) striking out dramatically on a new path. Maybe it was the gorgeous nocturnal vibe of the album’s artwork, which contrasts with the sunny beach vibes which characterized the group’s first two full-lengths. Or maybe it was an acknowledgement that, while RBCF’s second record, Sideways To New Italy, was a great release, it also was one of those albums whose title proves oddly prophetic: indeed, it truly was a move not forward, but sideways, very similiar in vibe and direction to the band’s wildly impressive debut Hope Downs but not quite living up to the quality. Given that history, my gut feeling was that RBCF simply had to tweak things up.

While trusting my gut has paid off more often than not, in this case I’d have to say it was essentially incorrect. Endless Rooms is, for the most part, an effort which still sees the band paddling the same waters as they always have: moderately fast-paced and jangly indie rock with warm-weather vibes. In that sense, this record is an unqualified disappointment, especially given the songs largely lack the infectious hooks that made tunes like the debut’s “Bellarine” or “The Hammer”, or even the follow-up’s “The Only One” some of the most memorable of recent years. The majority of songs here which follow the typical RBCF formula are reliably pleasant, but pleasant songs are a dime a dozen, and these rarely reach beyond.

The previous paragraph isn’t this album’s whole story, though. The boys from Down Under have also engaged in some experimentation in various directions here, and while some of the results work far better than others, it’s certainly welcome. Whether it’s an unprecedented (in the group’s discography) little instrumental opener (“Pearl Like You”), the slow-downed “Caught Low”, whose beautiful shimmer recalls both dream pop and Americana, “Open Up Your Window”, a lovely noodling interlude-length track which sees the band feeling like a southern-hemisphere Real Estate, “Saw You At The Eastern Beach”, which ups RBCF’s usually minimal post-punk quota to feel vaguely like a Fontaines D.C. song, or the mild trippiness of the title track, it’s fair to say that the band haven’t remained entirely stagnant on Endless Rooms. While not all of these attempts are successful, it’s fair to say that the potential for the band to move in a more atmospheric and psychedelic direction feels quite compelling based on this small sample size.

I’m well aware this review’s tone might be all over the place. After going into this album with high expectations, it simply didn’t deliver, and it’s pretty clear-cut that this is the band’s worst album yet. This puts RBCF is dangerous territory: three LPs in, and each one has been worse than its predecessor (by this reviewer’s estimation, and the general consensus, as much as that can be gathered). With all that said, fans of this band shouldn’t be as appalled as all that suggests. Endless Rooms has the feel of a transition album, with the group throwing some new ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks. There’s several new sounds and influences present on Endless Rooms which present intriguing and viable routes for RBCF to pursue on their eventual fourth record. The future is uncertain, but hope springs eternal.



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user ratings (25)
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
May 11th 2022


3802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

First review in a few weeks, real life's been real busy and additionally had a little writer's block with this one, hopefully it reads well.



TLDR, band is certainly in danger of stagnating but also tries some new things here which will hopefully bear fruit in later releases.

ashcrash9
May 11th 2022


3179 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Solid read. Don’t really dislike anything I’ve heard from these guys but they just can’t seem to scrounge up that wow factor for a whole album.

Feather
May 11th 2022


8098 Comments


Listened through the front half of this off a rec from a friend and thought it was fun summery indie-rock but nothing particularly striking about it

rabidfish
May 11th 2022


7528 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the post-punk side of their sound was amped up and it REALLY doesn't work for them. I just want cool jangle pop tunes, not this boring postpunk slob. Still a couple of nice tunes here.

Digging: Charlie Megira - The Abtomatic Miesterzinger Mambo Chic

alexslavco
May 11th 2022


110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I am still waiting for them to release something that has quality of French Press (song), but so far no luck

tom79
May 12th 2022


3890 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I felt a Sunny review coming on for this! Nice write-up. This is good, not amazing, sorta hit and miss, pretty much like you said. I'm coming around to it more but can't see it surpassing even the last one, which I actually liked a lot.



"the post-punk side of their sound was amped up and it REALLY doesn't work for them"



Sadly I pretty much agree here, though it might grow on me.

Digging: MJ Lenderman - Boat Songs

theBoneyKing
May 12th 2022


22162 Comments


Great review Sunny. I liked Hope Downs quite a bit, and STNI a bit less, and had been trying to muster the interest to try this, still haven't done so yet with all the other stuff occupying my time lately. This band is starting to have the feel of a very "dependable" indie band - they have a solid sound and are just crafty enough as songwriters to move from "meh" to "good/very good," but who also fail to really excite.

Digging: Ethel Cain - Preacher's Daughter

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
May 12th 2022


3802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Thanks all!



I agree with most of the commentary in this thread... I will say I'm not sure this is overtly more post-punk than their other work, but when they do go towards a Fontaines D.C.-esque sound (which happens in a few places) it's not very successful.

rabidfish
May 12th 2022


7528 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

there's less peppy-ness here, that's for sure

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
May 12th 2022


3802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Yeah, can definitely agree with that!

tom79
May 12th 2022


3890 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Really the only thing I think of that's more overtly 'post-punk' here is "Tidal Wave" which I don't dig so that's what meant when I agreed with that. If it wasn't for that song I probably wouldn't notice much of a change in sound.

Asura14
May 13th 2022


455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I absolutely adore this band, so far this is also my least favorite of their albums, still unsure where my rating will land though, need another listen.



Anyway really nice review sunny!

Digging: Static Dress - Rouge Carpet Disaster

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
May 13th 2022


3802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Thanks Asura14, appreciate it!

Asura14
May 13th 2022


455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"three LPs in, and each one has been worse than its predecessor" this is absolutely the case, but is it weird that I'm still pretty confident of them never dropping a bad album? I really trust these guys to always come up with some really nice melodies and great guitar driven tunes



Also, the EPs follow in my opinion the opposite trajectory... maybe they'd benefit from shorter albums not sure

rabidfish
May 13th 2022


7528 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i think they just need to realize where their strength lies, because i see them trying for a more serious, self-percieved "serious" tone with each new album that just fucking sucks the life out of their music.

Eons
May 13th 2022


3506 Comments


Why does this band's debut album have so many more votes than their second? What happened in that time to the fanbase?

rabidfish
May 13th 2022


7528 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

they did the exact same album, but less fun. Makes sense to me, tbh.

SandwichBubble
May 13th 2022


13307 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sputnik is a dying website, don't ya know?



Good album, but this one has a few unsavory songs on it. Cut some fat and this is up there with their last two for me.

Digging: Graves - Far From Here

Eons
May 13th 2022


3506 Comments


people say that it's dying but it really isn't i mean, this is one of the more active music forum sites out there, still.

SitarHero
May 14th 2022


14251 Comments


"Endless Rooms is, for the most part, still an effort which sees the band still paddling the same waters as they always have"

One of those stills is probably redundant.



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