I'm looking for a very specific sound, and I'm certain I won't be able to find it on my own. The sound I'm looking for is similar to a marching band (meaning, very brassy and a lot of woodwinds), but has more bass and guitar, as well as drum kit. I understand that ska is a fusion of rock, reggae, and jazz, but that's not quite the sound I'm looking for. For an example, imagine "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)," by Fall Out Boy, arranged by Tom Wallace for marching band, but more drums, bass, and guitar. I suppose "pep band" is a good way to describe it, but I'm sure that's not a genre.

I much appreciate the help! If this isn't appropriate for this website (by which, I mean it isn't the correct website to put it on), let me know and I'll take this down and ask another website. Thank you!


3 Answers 3


One description for this would be "brass rock", defined as rock music with a brass section. Brass rock influenced the development of both ska and funk. Unfortunately, it largely predates the punk rock sound, which had a stripped down, guitar-based instrumentation that, in some ways, was a reaction against the overstuffed maximalism of genres like brass rock.

With all that said, here are a few modern bands that perhaps have something of the feel (I think) you're looking for:

Hypnotic Brass calls their style "now music" or "hypnotic." Moon Hooch favors the term "cave music." Neither term seems to have been widely adopted by other groups. Budos Band calls themselves "Afro Soul" which is a real subgenre, but doesn't have much to do specifically with brass --most people would probably describe their sound as "funk."

You might also have some luck with some of the more modern New Orleans ensembles, although they tend to more of a jazz/funk sound than you're probably looking for:

Also potentially of interest: 13 Brass Band Covers


I dunno about a genre, but there's a steady history of punk bands using horn sections. Usually for a jazz/old r'n'b feel. But sometime it gets like a marching band.

The Saints did this back in the 70s.

Downtown Boys would be a recent example

Here's a spotify playlist of loud bands incorporating horns, though it tends way more towards soundtrack jazz/avant guard styles. I got Saints and Downtown Boys on there though.


There is only one band that I can think of that fits the bill and that is the Wet Secrets from Edmonton which bill themselves as a marching band DIY rock hybrid. I have not heard any other band attempting it without using ska elements. This band exists in the DIY rock culture of the Canadian prairies which can get pretty dorky so they can get away with it.

Jazz-punk is its own genre but tends to shy away from using horns. This includes bands like Nomeansno.

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