The Hungry March Band has been performing for over twenty years and is a potpourri of genuine musical talent. In that time the downtown NYC institution has gained a cult following and garnered critical accolades, including Time Out NYC which described them as, “NYC’s finest guerrilla ambulatory music ensemble.” Their wild amalgamation of styles references 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, but on June 1 they will release their fifth full length studio album, Running Through with the Sadness on June 1st, both digitally and on vinyl, with Imaginator Records.
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 makeshift 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 album title Running Through with the Sadness is taken from the lead single, and today we are excited to premiere it right here on Glide. 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. The instrumental explodes right out of the gate with a cacophony of klezmer-influenced sounds and it’s clear this is going to be an intense musical ride. What makes the song interesting is the way they bring in brass and woodwind instruments, taking jazzy solos and allowing the rhythm to complement them with a glorious intense drumline. The song originates from alto sax player Okkon (originally from Japan), who hatched the idea after learning the art of circular breathing on the saxophone, a technique that allows you to play an endless stream of notes without breaking for a breath. While practicing this technique, he came up with the saxophone part that begins the song. As a whole, the tune captures the quintessential NEW YORKness of the Hungry March Band because it’s such a mashup of cultures and musical ideas. One example is Okkon being originally from Japan playing with a free jazz/punk collective (HMB) to write this song to a Dominican merengue beat (a sound that is pervasive in streets and radio waves of NYC).
In his own words, Okkon says, “The title refers to ‘a dilemma for an absurdity of the Human centered world in torrid days.This song was made with so many cordial help and camaraderie with the Hungry March Band that I couldn’t be grateful enough, Because I’d often get sick when I’d tried to write song. The members are always willing to give their ideas for my half-composed tune experience of my HMB’s life that is precious.”