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Hungry Kids of Hungary : Escapades

It certainly doesn’t seem like almost three years ago when these ‘kids’ first appeared on the scene. Despite its long gestation period, the impression has always been that Hungry Kids Of Hungary’s first full-length record was always just around the corner, thanks to the consistent buzz the band have generated through hefty touring. They’ve quickly become a staple of the live circuit with their high energy, and of course, great tunes, and their debut album Escapades has its fair share of both.
From the ebullient harmonies and bouncing swing of opening Come Around to the sunny sing-a-long charm of Let You Down, there’s a deft touch and cheery atmosphere throughout Escapades that’s hard to resist.
The delightful Scattered Diamonds and a re-recorded version of Set It Right make the transition from their previous EPs and gel nicely with their newer ideas. The soul-tinged falsetto of You Ain’t Always There for one, or the drowsy No Returns for instance. Or better yet the confident widescreen seventies rock feel of China Will Wait, complete with little whirring guitar hook. It’s touches like these that make the larger picture so amiable, for all its sunny disposition there’s clearly a depth to the group that belies their silly name. Those razor-sharp melodies, the breezy way the pianos and guitars sway in and of each other, and who doesn’t love some great minor third harmonies?
If there’s a bone to pick, it’s not one the band would risk choking on. Though their contemporary influences are still pretty overt – Wristwatch could be a reworking of Vampire Weekend’s A-Punk while Scattered Diamonds playfully recalls Phoenix – they still come out looking like peers and not pickpockets. It’s the confidence and energy that lingers, not any lasting impression of some other band.

Escapades is nothing short of a great debut, the kind of record whose effect is so potent and yet its delivery so effortlessly casual. Its string of entertaining, upbeat numbers will doubtless become the soundtrack to many people’s summer as they get up to some escapades of their own.