Raw, catchy, creative. It’s Black Tones!

After one and a half years of working together and some pretty cool records, there are no articles about these guys. Until now. EP-premiere: ‘Home’ is in the air.


No poses, just music. Black Tones’ in action at the stage /// Photo by Eszter Budavári


Black Tones could be the newest mascot of Hungarian garage rock scene. The trio has already created a lot of high-quality material, and we can expect plenty more from them in the future.


I was lucky to hear them live so I can guarantee you all, that their harsh, energetic way of playing is not studio trickery. It’s the real thing!


„We don’t think too much!”

The history of Black Tones started way back in the early days of 2016. Krisztián Nagy (guitar, vocal) and Zsolt Ferenczi (drums, vocal) had been long-time friends and they’ve been playing together more and more. Not as a band, just for having fun, jamming around. They missed two things to become a full band: a singer and a bass player.


After listening back to the first demos they made, Zsolt and Krisztián realized that they can sing well enough, so only a bass player was really needed. And they quickly found György Szabó, whose personality and playing style absolutely matched their expectations: Black Tones was founded.


– We don’t think too much about anything. I would say that here and now we’re working well together, we’ve got the chemistry – says Zsolt, when I’m asking about songwriting and about overall impressions of working together. – Each and every song of ours has something about all of us, and maybe we’ve never had a situation when the idea of one of us has been thrown away by the other two – adds Krisztián.


Most of the time Zsolt is doing the lead vocal but sometimes Krisztián or György do some backing vocals. – We all are listening to lots of music, we all love the trio line-up, and perhaps the most important common thing is that classic rock sound is a huge inspiration for us. We can mention here Free, Rival Sons or The Black Keys… We could continue the list until tomorrow morning but the point is just having the exact conception of how we want to sound like when we are going to the studio – says Krisztián, who also builds guitar effect-pedals by the way.


And listening to their tracks you might instantly feel that these are not just empty words. They don’t have too many things but they can use them: the fat, overdriven bass tone, the well-known Telecaster sound and the natural drums can fit plenty of musical ideas.


And here comes the new EP!

The conception of ‘Home‘ is not very different from their recordings they had made before. It has the same raw, almost live kinda sound, but it’s a bit less under-produced, sounds more like a professional recording.


– We are okay with these 2-4 track releases, but it would be cool to put a whole album together in the future – says Zsolt, whose opinion about how to be a good musician is very simple: you need to listen to as many genres as you can. Listening to the songs of ‘Home‘ it’s clear that they take this seriously: all the groves, all the catchy guitar riffs and elegant vocal melodies provide proof of their musical fanatism and awareness.



The title song, ‘Home‘, easily could be a hit by some forgotten, late ’60s British band. Maybe the greatest piece on the EP. It’s dirty, it’s pop, it’s full of ideas.


Cheek To Cheek‘ shows us the heavier side of the band: all the instruments and the vocal are overdriven, it takes us to a muddy, Black Keys-inspired place. The first half of the song is full of tensions, then the ceremonial bridge and the cool, unhurried guitar solo make me feel totally relaxed.


Morning Blues‘ is the other top one for me. The lead vocal is shared between Krisztián and Zsolt. Heavy riffs, classic rock sound, fine lyrics. Maybe it’s not a special little snowflake but it’s a well- known fact that these kind of songs are the hardest to write.


The EP’s cover is like a frame from the Twin Peaks, awesome!


Beside the great hits, the other essential element of Black Tones is the way they play their instruments. None of the three guys is a virtuoso but all of them has the ability to find the perfect little things which can make their songs better. They do it in style, and instead of some selfish glimmering they humbly do everything for the song.


No poses, just songs

Talkin’ about their plans they are quite confident. They don’t say big things, the goal is neither Abbey Road nor America, actually they absolutely don’t want to suit any sort of requirements.


Maybe they do less to sell their stuff than it would be needed, we’ll see. They have plenty of songs to finish and to record, and actually this is the only reason which makes them excited. We are looking forward to hear about these guys again, hopefully we can write about some new material very soon! And don’t miss the next chance to see Black Tones live! It’s worth every penny.


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Balogh Dániel