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Rolling Blackouts have made quite an impression in Melbourne and beyond since debuting as a band in 2014 with a refreshingly infectious take on lo fi, punk / pop. Claiming their own genre as tough pop mixed with soft punk they carved a solid niche using angular tunes as their weapons and looked to re-open Australia’s ears to the wonders of Australian indie rock circa The Go-Bewteens.
With some gnarly angular guitars and strong notions of pop sewn delicately through their songwriting, Rolling Blackouts deliver big time with Talk Tight.
Now with their signing to Ivy League Records and the release of their tight, attuned EP Talk Tight, they look to find a lasting place in the scene. Opening with the bittersweet lively Wither With You the band’s attitude becomes almost instantaneously clear. Drawing lyrical inspiration from the light-hearted subject matter of love, decay and an autobiography called Victories of Failure, the band pairs this gloomy ideal with music that suggests anything but. It’s all sharp guitars, grooving bass lines and virulent pop melodies that has us dreaming of crystal waters and board rash. It’s the type of opening track that really drives home the point that once again, lyrics with a smidgen of depth can be delivered in an alarmingly buoyant way.
As the propulsion of Wide Eyes fills our ear drums we are happy to feel that, while the lyrics may play in the maudlin and melancholy, this is not an album that plans to leave you wallowing in shared distress. Providing an intoxicating blend of country twang, psychedelia and punk rhythms, the track is reminiscent of other perennial good timers The Black Lips and provides a rambling backdrop to a day off well wasted.
Heard You’re Moving begins to highlight vocalist / guitarist Frank Keaney’s deadpan vocal delivery, a skill not to be underplayed behind the rollicking music. They compliment each other subtly but with intent to deliver a track that plays with the banal nature and ridiculousness of young love. It’s a driving track both in it’s constant unrelenting tempo and the fact this track would deliver best from a burnt out ute tearing across the outback.
You can definitely hear in this debut Rolling Blackouts have found a style and mood, stuck with it and stretched it through the five songs leading to an ever so slight feeling of similarity in song structures and delivery. The band may have influences that draw from punk but the songs are strongly rooted in the contagious world of pop that gets showcased to the listener on closing track Tender Is The Neck which feels like one giant harmonised hook.
With minimal fanfare, Rolling Blackouts have released an EP that will likely decorate the walls of your summer, fill you with saccharine melodies and remind you to dance in your kitchen every once in a while.
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