Hungry Kids of Hungary - Escapades

Hungry Kids of Hungary are now the crown jewels of Brisbane’s indie scene. With Escapades debuting at number 23 on the ARIA charts all eyes are now on the quartet.

Yet although I feel some sense of comradery over such a whirlwind success for a local act, Escapades has got me in two minds. One part of me embraces the tropical blend of sun-drenched 60s pop rock, but another is distraught at the idea that the group is devolving into a Vampire Weekend tribute band. It’s a shame, because their own voice is far more satisfying.

Back in 2008 Hungry Kids released their self titled EP and their sound has been in a constant state of flux ever since. The example of this stylistic shift can be highlighted more clearly when comparing their re-worked older songs to their originals. In the 2008 version of Set it Right, Dean McGrath had a deep and calming, sensual croon, but more importantly it was unique. The original version of Let You Down appears as the turning point where the styles diverge and the end result in 2010 is Wristwatch, a song that passes itself off as more of a Vampire Weekend b-side. Yet if I know that this album borrows heavily almost to the point of carbon-copying, why do I want to listen to it? Quite simply, Hungry Kids write songs which choruses so infectious, they distract from the shortcomings. Coming Around just melts with its vocal harmonies and infectious chorus (Curiously it’s Kane Mazlin who handles the vocal duties)

Escapades is far from a disaster, but it’s the sound of a band who haven’t quite found their own voice, even if they’ve got writing a pop tune down to a fine art. Nevertheless, as far as debuts go, it’s still an accomplishment.

- Scott Thompson

Album Details

Album Title: Escapades
Artist: Hungry Kids of Hungary
Record Label: Stop Start/ EMI