Governors Ball 2019 Evaluation: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever


In case you check out the lineup poster for Governors Ball 2019, you’ll discover there aren’t numerous huge rock names within the combine. Other than hometown legends the Strokes, you received’t discover many guitar-oriented acts in direction of the highest of the invoice, the largest names being the likes of Mitski hanging out in the midst of the pack. This isn’t all that unusual, for Gov Ball to be dominated by rap and pop. However the form of Gov Ball 2019 makes it in order that when there’s a standout rock set, it actually stands out.

That was the case for the Australian group Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever on the opening afternoon of this 12 months’s iteration of the pageant. Occupying a considerably unenviable slot of mid-afternoon on the Friday — when many attendees have but to reach — at a area pockmarked by marshy puddles from every week of fixed rain, the band nonetheless managed to assemble a fervent crowd and ship a set that emphasised they’re probably the most constant younger guitar bands to emerge within the final couple years.

Additionally they had a late-night Gov Ball aftershow on the Greenpoint membership Warsaw, which one would think about is the extra acceptable venue wherein to see this band — deep into the night time moderately than beneath a blinding afternoon solar, that three guitar mechanism reverberating inside the confines of a sweaty room. However what was exhilarating about seeing them holding down a pageant stage was the slight modulations and mutations you could possibly hear in RBCF’s music inside that completely different context.

Way back to their EPs, however particularly on their debut Hope Downs, RBCF have been making their identify on relentlessly environment friendly hooks and craftsmanship. Regardless of the theoretical extra of a lineup that includes three guitars, their songs are fastidiously layered and structured, each aspect sitting precisely the place it must be. It is a band that has an innate understanding of what they’re good at and how you can talk it. That understanding extends to their stay present, too.

Given RBCF nonetheless don’t have a ton of music out, a 45 minute pageant set nonetheless has loads of room for some older EP songs, a few of that are essential to the arc of the set. However additionally they lean into the precise proper decisions from Hope Downs, with a set that doesn’t waste time — heavy-hitters like “The Hammer,” “Speaking Straight,” and “An Air Conditioned Man” all hit on the precise proper moments within the set. New songs “Learn My Thoughts” and “In The Capital” already felt as lived-in because the favorites followers may’ve identified a bit longer from the debut.

All through, it was clear simply how a lot this band operates as a unit. Three guitars are at all times shifting, doing their very own factor however gathering into this propulsive complete. Those self same three gamers — Fran Keaney, Tom Russo, and Joe White — are additionally all vocalists. Their voices can generally be onerous to inform aside on their songs; although completely different, these, too, weave collectively, additional underlined stay if you watch completely different singers commerce off over the course of a single track.

It wasn’t all only a trustworthy copy of the tightness of Rolling Blackouts on file, although. There was room to unfold out, broaden. RBCF is a type of humorous bands that appears less complicated upon first pay attention than later ones — between their general aesthetic and their Melbourne origins, it’s straightforward to line them up with a lineage of ’80s jangle-pop from that a part of the world. However completely different folks hear fairly various things of their songs, and stay that goes additional. Guitar traces unspool within the warmth, just like the Warfare On Medicine on this identical stage a number of years in the past, at a a lot earlier level in their very own ascension. Sitting at a vital spot penultimately within the set, the sooner monitor “Fountain Of Good Fortune” featured a guitar passage that nearly recalled Pearl Jam of their mid-’90s Loopy Horse part.

For the remainder of the day, it was extra frequent to listen to beats blasting out throughout the Gov Ball grounds. And numerous these units had been unbelievable. However as one of many primary ambassadors for guitar-based music at Gov Ball 2019, Rolling Blackouts helped kick off the weekend as properly. Having been on the street incessantly in help of Hope Downs, RBCF is clearly already a really well-oiled machine. And pretty much as good as they had been at Gov Ball this time round, it’s straightforward to think about how a lot better they’ll be one other album in, the subsequent time they move by way of city.


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