Brisbane, Australia – it’s a city that’s never really had a ‘sound’. It’s always been a fusion town, a place where bands ignore convention, smash ideas together, and make some pretty exciting music in the process. And you’d be hard pressed to find better exponents of the art than Hungry Kids of Hungary.
To call them a pop band is too easy, too neat. Their brilliantly bent take on the genre has a little bit of everything. Yes, there are those melodies that worm their way in, the harmonies that soar, the hooks to burn. But there’s also that hint of unpredictability that makes them so exciting. Most of all, perhaps, listening to these guys play feels good – it’s fun. People smile at their shows…and that’s just the band.
Little wonder then that in an impossibly short space of time they’ve graduated from local lads who can pen a tune, to serious contenders for Australia’s most exciting new prospect.
Like most bands, the birth of HKOH was simple enough – a bunch of friends drawn together by a love of writing simple, honest tunes. Rather than trying to make waves straight out of the box, the four piece sat back, honed their craft and emerged with 2008’s breakthrough self-titled EP. One of the best debuts of the year, they quickly landed rotation on national broadcaster triple j and embarked on a relentless touring schedule that’s never really let up.
Within a year, their second EP – Mega Mountain – hit and took things to another level. Armed with the stellar track ‘Scattered Diamonds’ and follow-up single ‘Let You Down’ the band started making good on the promise they’d always shown, and then some.
With growing support from Australian radio and an increasing reputation as a ‘must see’ live band, their army of supporters started to grow rapidly – helped by tours with the likes of Washington and Philadelphia Grand Jury and slots at a run of festivals including the Big Day Out.
2010 though was the year the dam broke. Kicking things off with highlight sets at the major Woodford, Sunset Sounds, Falls and Southbound festivals – alongside quick jaunts to the UK and USA – the band wrote, recorded and released their debut long-player Escapades. More than just a great record, the album HKOH coming into their own as artists. All those shows, all those demos, all those songs written and discarded culminated in an album as infectious as it is interesting. Clever without being pretentious, simple without being dull – it’s packed with ideas, like all great debuts should be.
Making a top 25 entry on the Australian album charts, Escapades quickly became one of the years most talked about – and loved – local releases. It chalked up ‘Album of the Week’ status on triple j with the station’s listeners naming it in their Top 20 albums of the year, while also voting single ‘Coming Around’ into the annual Hottest 100 music poll. That kind of response was echoed across the nation’s music press with uniformly glowing reviews greeting the album’s release. It was no surprise really when commercial radio juggernaut Nova developed a taste for the band, adding them to rotation soon after.
And it’s not just radio and press taking notice – HKoH tracks have made their way on to television screens across the globe through placement on a run of shows including Grey’s Anatomy and Cougar Town.
So as we enter 2011, we find HKOH a band well and truly on a roll. While the early stages of the year will be dominated by a host of North American shows – including Canadian Music Week (Toronto) and the epic South by South West (USA) – this is a band with one eye clearly on the future. Recently expanded to a five-piece, they’re already making some serious headway on a brand new batch of songs that will ultimately form the backbone of the next HKOH release.
How exactly that new record will sound is anyone’s guess. But that’s the fun part, right?
Kane Mazlin – vocals, keys
Dean McGrath – vocals, guitar
Ben Dalton – bass, backing vocals
Ryan Strathie – drums, backing vocals
REVIEWS FOR ESCAPADES:
***** – Time Off
“A meticulously crafted, stunningly accomplished endeavour, Escapades is the kind of debut album that deserves to be discussed almost exclusively in glowing terms. From the cascading guitar lines and swooning harmonies of opener Coming Around to the Rubber Soul-esque balladry of six-minute closer The Window Shopper, the record is a near-flawless work of pop-rock perfection.”
**** The Brag – Album of the Week
“That they sing as well as they play is a bonus, that their songs never tire is a plus, and that their album shows an impressive diversity of styles without ever losing its character earns extra points”
**** – Sydney Morning Herald
“They should be called Restless Kids Of Hungary because this is an album of exuberant exploration into as many corners of pop as they can manage. You name it and chances are the Hungry Kids are trying it”
Drum Media – CD Of The Week
“Escapades proves and exciting and enthralling debut from another of Australia’s finest newcomers.”
**** – MX
“Our latest and greatest purveyors of pop have emerged, their tremendous talents bursting forth, hooks and all, to make Escapades one of the local releases of the year.”
“Undoubtedly one of the tightest, strangest and downright entertaining sets that Jive is likely to witness for quite some time to come.” – Rip It Up
“If you like your music loud, fast and unbelievably entertaining, hit up a Hungry Kids of Hungary gig next time they’re in town.” – Luna Magazine
Ben Preece | Mucho-Bravado | E: firstname.lastname@example.org | P: 61.417.628.037
Australian Booking Agent:
Rob Giovannoni | Select Music | E: email@example.com | P: 61(0)2.8577.6977
UK Booking Agent:
Steve Zapp | ITB | E: firstname.lastname@example.org | P: 44.207.637.679
Angela Kohler | Mucho-Bravado | E: email@example.com | P: +61 7 3852 3003
|Mega Mountain (EP)
Released April 200901. Two Stonesooooooooooo
02. Scattered Diamonds
03. Old Money
04. Good Timesmmmmxxxjdddd
|Hungry Kids of Hungary (EP)
Released August 200801. All You Need To Knowooooo
02. Set It Right
03. One By One
04. Arrest This Heart
05. Tell Me Twice