March 28th, 2012 | Album reviews


Seasons in the Underground

MuSick Recordings

Say “Hungarian” and goulash likely comes next to mind. Rock music, not so much. But with their latest effort, Season in the Underground, Budapest natives the Moog prove that rock runs through their blood thick as a kolbász. Long worshipped by the band, England’s legendary engineer Ken Scott (David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Beatles, George Harrison, Jeff Beck), takes the helm as producer. Scott perfectly marries their raucous garage essence with synthesizer-driven 70s rock and pop hook sensibilities. Though opening track, “Seasons Change in the Underground,” offers uninspired chord progressions and a less-than-catchy chorus, things quickly turn around. The third tune, “I Wanna Take You to Paris,” opens with a bright synthesizer and expands into a sunshine melody, pleasantly accentuated by honey sweet, 1960s-inspired xylophone pings. “Highway” boasts an irresistible bouncy hook recalling hints of early Velvet Underground. Frontman Tonyó “the Baron” Szabó repeatedly chirps, “This country is too small for meeee/I wanna be roaming free …”—sincere words from a band living in a landlocked Central European zone. “We Walk in Slow” glows as the album’s hidden gem: taking an unexpectedly mature and reflective tone, Tonyó’s vocals are stripped naked in an inspired delivery, punctuated in all the right spots by soaring guitar licks recalling the same 70s greats Scott knows so well. The band has been known to partake in rock-star shenanigans themselves, like when they got jumped by Lady Gaga’s security guards. Keep an eye out for more tomfoolery after their SXSW set March 17.

—Linda Rapka