Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
Buy On
  1. Uncut
    Jun 4, 2020
    90
    It's romantic, it's exhilarating. [Jul 2020, p.26]
  2. Jun 4, 2020
    86
    In heading Sideways to New Italy, Rolling Blackouts C.F. continue to make a strong case as one of Australia’s most vital rock acts, if not the world’s.
  3. Jun 5, 2020
    81
    No doubt that momentum they’ve built up will take them to plenty of new places when they can get back to playing live next year; they set out to capture that feeling on record this time around, and they’ve succeeded, with an album that makes Hope Downs feel like a warmup. After all this travelling, they’ve finally arrived.
  4. Q Magazine
    Jun 9, 2020
    80
    This is the sound of a band perfectly balanced and creatively ablaze. [Summer 2020, p.104]
  5. 80
    While it is excellent in places, Sideways to New Italy doesn’t quite rise to the same heights as its predecessor.
  6. Jun 5, 2020
    80
    The album is another strong point in the case that Rolling Blackouts are making the best guitar pop anywhere in 2020.
  7. ‘Sideways To New Italy’ might sound like sun-splashed indie for good times, but there’s a great deal of angst buried within. Yet this is clearly also the sound of a band excited to be in the studio together; warmth and friendship seeps through every note.
  8. Mojo
    Jun 4, 2020
    80
    If Sideways To New Italy is a reckoning, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever's balance sheet is entirely in the black. [Jul 2020, p.79]
  9. Jun 4, 2020
    80
    Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever delivers a slice of summer with the successful Sideways to New Italy as the band keeps rolling on and smiling all the way.
  10. Jun 4, 2020
    80
    They’ve upped their game even further on Sideways to New Italy, and the result is a perfect summertime indie-rock record.
  11. Jun 8, 2020
    70
    Nothing quite comes close to ‘Cars In Space’ for desk-slapping earwormery, but with three singer-guitarists at play, the music chops and weaves with an impressive intricacy, always stopping itself short of self-indulgence. If you’re looking for a modern, uplifting celebration of all things riff, these boys have got your back.
  12. Jun 5, 2020
    70
    Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have produced an album that dangles a carrot of the possibilities of exploration at the time of the impossible, but they are absolutely better off for doing so.
  13. Jun 4, 2020
    70
    Sideways to New Italy is not only the perfect summer companion, but it also makes room for a reflective experience. As the band work to find what constitutes "home" again, digging into their individual pasts and the people and places who have shaped them, perhaps it can inspire listeners to look inwards and do the same.
  14. Jun 8, 2020
    66
    These 10 tracks refine RBCF’s formidable strafing abilities. They roll. They’re feverish. They also coast. ... RBCF get in trouble, however, when they want us to pay attention to words and such. This is more of a problem on the material sung by White, responsible for the this-is-pop moments that require a slight deceleration.
  15. 65
    With multiple writers Sideways to New Italy perhaps lacks the focus and clear direction that the music deserves; stark changes in vocal styles can break an aural ‘fourth wall’ and remind the listener that the songwriters, while complementary, are also competing with one another for our attention.
  16. Classic Rock Magazine
    Jul 6, 2020
    60
    Tail-chasing indie adequacy. [Summer 2020, p.89]
  17. Jun 8, 2020
    60
    On Sideways to New Italy, the five-piece continues their solid methodology of songcraft, even if it may feel a little stale by the album’s end. It’s the cream of the crop when it comes to modern reverbed-out jangle pop, but there’s really only so much one can take when it comes to this midtempo playlist-rock.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Jun 6, 2020
    7
    It’s a shame that record companies no longer send bands back to write a few more better songs for albums. Sideways To New Italy is good, butIt’s a shame that record companies no longer send bands back to write a few more better songs for albums. Sideways To New Italy is good, but not good enough. It fails to build on the wonderful Hope Downs, and there’s nothing here of the calibre of Talking Straight. There are some highlights - ‘Cars In Space’ is really great, despite not having a chorus. Single ‘She’s There’ is catchy and ‘Cameo’ is a refreshing change of direction. Overall though this is quite disappointing, the guitar playing is uniformly inferior to ‘Hope Downs’ and the light frothy, summery production is a real miscalculation. Full Review »
  2. Jun 5, 2020
    10
    Haven't stopped listening since the preorder stream went live. Instant cult classic, and hopefully it turns out to be something even bigger for them.
  3. Jun 5, 2020
    10
    Absolute belter of an album, even better than 2018's outstanding 'Hope Downs'. Personal favourites are Cars in Space, Cameo, and The Cool Change.