Hungry March Band has been performing for over twenty years and is a potpourri of genuine musical talent. The downtown NYC institution has gained a cult following and garner critical accolades, including Time Out NYC which described them as, “NYC’s finest guerrilla ambulatory music ensemble.” The band wields many styles, referencing dub, rock, ska, metal, and various Latin traditions; all the while maintaining a punk heart and creating their own flamboyant sound. It has been over a decade since their last album and this year they set out to release their fifth full length studio album, Running Through with the Sadness on June 1st, both digitally and on vinyl, with Imaginator Records.
“To me, Running Through with the Sadness comes from the band’s need to redefine itself…we had been in a “slack” period for a while, and the prospect of recording sharpened our focus on the music,” said saxophonist Emily Fairey. “The pace at which a 20-person group proceeds to an album might be slow, but once this song starts, the tempo is breakneck.” The album title is taken from the lead single, and while it’s nearly impossible to get the twenty active members of Hungry March Band to agree on anything, the song is such a show stopper that it made sense to bestow it on such a special project.
Running Through with the Sadness features all original compositions from a band equally well-known for their amazing covers. The record is an explosion of irreverent energy and a veritable lesson in spastic instrumental dance music. It was meticulously produced over the course of years, indicating a forward step in the evolution of the radical street brass sound.
The self-produced album started to come to life in 2013, with three-hour sessions at Galapagos and in a make shift sound room, in a pretty NYC apartment. Jason Candler, engineer and saxophonist, was very much aware of the differences in how this band works. “The previous Hungry March Band albums had all been live releases, and while there may have been edits between different takes, it was still a playback of a band in a room. We wanted to try something different this time, and it took 3.5 years to get it where we wanted. Turns out, it takes time to do this type of recording, along with trying to match the schedules of 15 people with mine and find time when the studio was available.”
The 10 track album is stacked with standouts including “Shimmy,” a NOLA funk song that makes the listener get up and dance…with the first person you see. “Mali Mali” is a polyrhythmic tribute to the wassoulou music of the late singer/composer Coumba Sidibe from Mali , features solos by tenor saxophonist Tove Langhof and baritone saxophonist Jason Candler. Lead single and title track “Running Through with the Sadness,” was written to the break-neck merengue setting on a Casio keyboard. And “Swirling Spaceman,” references dub and tells a whole story with no words.
Hungry March Band is planning on taking the show on the road with a tour. “When you experience the band live, there is an excitement in the air; lots of motion from the dancers, and sound coming from everywhere. It’s a sensory overload; we might add extra horn or drum solos or rearrange parts on the fly.”
The Hungry March Band has graced the stage supporting Peter Gabriel, Lollapalooza, Madison Square Garden gig for Ralph Nader, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Sant’Anna Aressi Jazz Festival in Sardinia, the 2017 New York City Woman’s March, needless to say this band has instruments (Sax, Percussion, Trombone, Trumpet, Sousaphone, Clarinet) and will travel. Check out tour dates below and here.
“The Hungry March Band is a mix of quirkiness and tradition.”
New York Times
“The irrepressibly entertaining Hungry March Band takes over the club.”
The New Yorker
May 6 @ Carnegie Hall’s Neighborhood Concert Series, New York, NY
June 22 – Record Release party @ Market Hotel, Brooklyn, NY
“Off the Hook”
“Running Through with the Sadness”
“Ataraxia (digital bonus track)”