IMAGINE THE SWEET MELODIES of a Sebadoh ballad combined with the driving guitar riffs of Jimmy Eat World. Then stir in some haunting synth-lines in the vane of Jeremy Enigk and top it off with deep lyrical honesty from the likes of Ben Gibbard. Finally, sprinkle on some Kurt Cobain grunginess and you create a sonic recipe for the signature sounds of Ralph Hinkley Syndrome (RHS).
Hailing from Orange County, California, RHS consists of Wyman Gentry and Jason Ogle. The dynamic duo have been buddies since “Twisted Sister” was tainting the radio waves. It was Wyman who inspired Jason to play guitar when in the fifth grade talent show he serenaded the school with the unforgettable chorus, “Who ya gonna call…Ghostbusters!” They’ve been through the lows, the highs, the really highs and down to the lowest lows together. From playing with “Transformers” to shoplifting “Anthrax” cassettes from Kmart to swiping hard liquor from the grocery stores to wasting away as alcoholics and drug addicts together. When the tides of life reached their lowest peak, and faith in anything was at an all-time low, writing music and playing in bands was their only relief from the pain of living. By the grace of God, that phase ended rather than their lives.
The name of the project “Ralph Hinkley Syndrome” was inspired by the short-lived 80’s TV show titled “The Greatest American Hero”. Ralph is the lead character who has good intentions, yet fails miserably in his attempt to become a superhero. He learns to fly, yet never learns how to land and crashes hard every time. The “Syndrome” part stems from the fact that all of us are like this. We all have good intentions to be the best we can and even make a difference in somebody’s life. Yet however much altitude we may gain in our pursuit, we eventually come crashing down. We fail and we cannot help but fail. There’s an innate need for perfection within us but until we look outside ourselves and towards the divine (God), we cannot begin to see that that certain perfection and graceful landing is found only in the one who holds this beautiful mess together.
When asked about what kind of mark they’re trying to make on the music industry, Jason Ogle responded this way: “We’re not out to prove a point or to be the next ‘cool’ rock stars to come and go. For Wyman and I, it’s all about being real and writing good honest music that we’re proud of and that people can connect with on a deeper level. One of the most rewarding aspects of this is when a fan responds with complete enthusiasm for the songs we’ve written and shares with us how much the music moved them. Those are the simple pleasures that keep us pumped and inspired to forge ahead.”
So with that, may the “Ralph Hinkley Syndrome” revolution begin! Believe it or not…it already has.
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