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Talk Tight
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  • Australian indie pop combo Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever (aka Rolling Blackouts C.F.) sound like they're serious about their music, if not much else. On the Melbourne-based band's debut EP, Talk Tight, they channel several varieties of wiry guitar pop while singing with a playful smirk on "Heard You're Moving" and "Clean Slate." The smirk in their songs is honestly entertaining, but it's the three-way guitar combo of Fran Keaney, Tom Russo, and Joe White that really makes this stuff connect. Melodically, these tunes have clear ties to U.K. and Kiwi pop of the '80s, from Orange Juice to the Clean. But when RBCF hit fourth gear, pop takes a back seat to rock, and that's when this music gets honestly exciting. The propulsive layers of choppy guitar suggest a younger and leaner version of the Feelies, an antipodal Velvet Underground, or vintage Sonic Youth without the atonal distortion. RBCF are clearly not aiming to be guitar heroes -- there's essentially nothing in the way of acrobatic soloing on Talk Tight. But they sure know how good a bunch of guitars can sound en masse, and that not so secret weapon is what makes this music a real delight. Rhythm chords and a lean, slightly twangy attack make RBCF's guitars speak eloquently, and bassist Joe Russo and drummer Marcel Tussie push these songs forward with muscle and smarts. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are still working out their game on this EP, but if you want to know if this band has promise, the answer is an insistent yes. Talk Tight has plenty of fine tunes, dry wit, and chiming guitars, and how much else do you really need? ~ Mark Deming
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