Label: Sub Pop
Released: 6th May 2022
Never the flashiest of bands, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have been quietly building a reputation as one of the biggest rock successes to come out of Australia over the last few years – crafting highly polished albums that have gained plenty of critical and fan love whilst still keeping the band flying somewhat under the radar. ‘Endless Rooms’ continues in that vein, building on all their familiar elements whilst expanding and extending things in every direction. It is a decision that mostly, but doesn’t always, pay off.
There’s more than a hint of college radio-era R.E.M. on display here, the same chiming guitar sound running at top speed alongside perfect harmonies. Early singles ‘Tidal River’ and ‘The Way It Shatters’ kick the album off perfectly, before it slowly starts to lose momentum in a flabby middle section. Written in a secluded barn on the edge of a lake, mellow vibes float through everything on a record that is never knowingly in a hurry and exists largely in a fog of oblique water-based lyrics. That makes for perfect bliss at some points, but once or twice there is a sense that some of the guitar solos would do well with a minute or two lopped off.
While many will get off on the expansive TWOD-style guitar noodlings, ‘Endless Rooms’ is at its best when it stops treading water and remembers that it has to get somewhere, and that ‘endless’ isn’t always a good thing. There is an urgency that kicks back in towards the climax, the spiralling solos left to one side just long enough to start punching through once more. A record that will perhaps best come to life on a hazy summer festival slot, there is still more than enough to keep them rolling on for a while yet.