Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Tickets – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR – April 24th, 2018

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

Indie rock from Melbourne, Australia

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

Havania Whaal, Months

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm


This event is 21 and over

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
In early 2016, the release of Talk Tight put Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever on the map with glowing reviews from SPIN, Stereogum, and Pitchfork, praising them as stand-outs even among the fertile landcape of Melbourne music. Chock full of snappy riffs, spritely drumming and quick- witted wordplay, Talk Tight was praised "for the precision of their melodies, the streamlined sophistication of their arrangements, and the undercurrent of melancholy that motivates every note." (Pitchfork)

Born from late night jam sessions in singer/guitarist Fran Keaney's bedroom and honed in the thrumming confines of Melbourne's live music venues, the band began to take shape as audiences got moving. Sharing tastes and songwriting duties, cousins Joe White and Fran Keaney, brothers Tom and Joe Russo, and drummer Marcel Tussie started out with softer, melody-focused songs. The more shows they played, the more those driving rhythms that now trademark their songs emerged. Since then, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever rode that wave from strength to strength. Touring around the country on headline bills and festival slots all the way to BIGSOUND, they entrenched themselves with their thrilling live shows. Meanwhile, they were prepping their next release.

The French Press EP levels up on everything that made Talk Tight such an immediate draw. Multi- tracked melodies which curl around one another, charging drums and addictive bass lines converge to give each track its driving momentum. Honed through their live shows, this relentless energy carries the record through new chapters in the band's Australian storybook.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever's songs have always had all the page-turning qualities of a good yarn and The French Press EP is no different. Somewhere between impressionists and fabulists, lyricists Fran Keaney, Tom Russo and Joe White often start with something rooted in real life -- the melancholy of travel on 'French Press,' having a hopeless crush on 'Julie's Place' -- before building them into clever, quick vignettes. The result is lines blurred between fiction and reality -- vibrant stories which get closer at a particular truth than either could alone.

On 'French Press,' it's a Skype call between two brothers -- one gallivanting overseas, the other sitting in tedious comfort in some air-conditioned office. The freedom of one, having cast off physical and emotional ties and wrestling with liberation versus feeling lost, versus the grim routine -- but also security -- of the latter, all pivoting on a series of double meanings: The journalistic French press versus the coffee pot which symbolizes drab office culture, the disconnect people crave in escaping their homes versus the disconnect from everything they knew and cared about. And finally, the disconnect of a Skype call over a shoddy internet connection.

On first single 'Julie's Place,' it's being young and dumb but full of bravado. It follows a lovesick narrator at a house party out in the country, as afternoon turns to night. Sprinting guitars mimic singer Fran Keaney's pangs of heartache, his awkwardly sensual lyrics calling to mind the chaos and confusion of being around someone you can't get off your mind.

'Fountain of Good Fortune' attacks selfishness, myopia, being content with living well even though everybody around you is doing it tough. It's a sentiment familiar to anyone living in the shadow of Boomer Australia, where a desperate middle class elected two conservative governments in a row.

Blending critical insight and literate love songs, The French Press EP cements Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever as one of Australia's smartest working bands.
Havania Whaal
Havania Whaal
Havania Whaal has remained an ever-important fixture of the Portland DIY music scene for years now, all the while growing into a fuzzy, echo-specked force of nature that both matches the city’s gray and hazy climes while also outgrowing them.

The duo of vocalists (and spouses!) Noelle Magia (Plastic Weather, Smoke Rings) and Paul Sobiech (Fine Pets) anchor the band in the beauty of their contrast. Magia’s battle hardened no-wave yelps, squeals and coos serve as the backbone of frenetic, hooky energy in the songs while Sobiech's post-punk croon cools the edges. They are joined by bassist Caroline Jackson (Lubec) whose taught, symmetrical lines and celestial harmonies further make the case for Havania Whaal's scene powerhouse reputation.
There’s a moment on Months’ new album Black Hats for War that epitomizes the Portland post-punk quartet.

That moment is a split second between songs. The album’s seventh track, “Golden,” spends 199 seconds building and building, from gently strummed guitar and whispered voice to a roar of thick, distorted riffs.

Then, with almost no break at all, the eighth track—a sub-two-minute punk blast called “Throat”—kicks in at top speed and volume. It’s such an abrupt beginning, it feels at first like your listening device of choice has malfunctioned and you’ve dropped into the middle of a song. It’s disorienting, but also a pleasant case of whiplash once you get your bearings.

And that’s Months: A band that never sits still while keeping you on your toes. To be clear, that’s a wonderful quality for a rock band.

Black Hats for War is Months’ second album, and it’s bigger, burlier, and more robust than 2015’s self-titled effort. Over the past two years, Months have honed their sound; they are taut but pliable, powerful but not showy, and catchy without sacrificing intensity.

Opening track “Gruesome” hurtles forward with confidence, a tightly wound bundle of guitars that bend and bristle. “Month” takes a more aggressive approach, draping distorted squall across drummer Will Hattman’s hyperspeed rhythms. Hattman’s stickwork is absolutely vital to Months’ version of controlled chaos.

At times, the band delivers cool avant-pop-rock à la Sonic Youth. At others, the guitar interplay of Wilson Vediner and Aaron Miller recalls the woozy chimes of early Modest Mouse. And Courtney Sheedy’s bass lines drive much of Months’ restless motion, as evidenced by “Shadowing,” a seething rager with heart, and “Cardiac,” which may be Black Hats’ peak.

The album ends with “Split,” a perfect encapsulation of Months’ impressive ability to make bracing music that spits out shards of noise and scraps of melody as it rolls along. It’s a potent blend, one that eludes many bands. But not Months. Black Hats for War is a must-hear for anyone who misses the glory days of urgent, unkempt indie rock.