Monday, January 18, 2010

Local Band Spotlight: Ralph Hinkley Syndrome

We say it pretty often, but somehow I feel it needs to be said more: Orange County is a hot spot for bands and independent musicians. Just look at Gwen Stefani, Thrice, Atreyu, and The Offspring for starters- all of which set their roots in OC- the talent keeps popping up in this county; you'd think we were a regular musician plantation.
Today, I'd like to draw your attention to one particular gem- a local band of rising notoriety: Ralph Hinkley Syndrome.

OC Weekly's Nate Jackson writes, "...their sound encompasses all the virtues of coffee-house rock, right down to the strategically uplifting harmonies and introspective lyrics of love and loss spiced with slivers of Seattle grunge. And then there's the spirituality." (click here to read the full article)

Jackson's review hits it on the mark, and I'd add emphasis to their stylistic range; visit the band's myspace to hear the soothing harmonies and soulful lyrics of tracks "Waiting" and "Only Then," while listening to "My Eyes Have Hands" and "Lombard Street" will take you back to the best aspects of 90s alternative rock. Sounds like a wide spectrum, doesn't it? Ralph Hinkley Syndrome leaves you far from bored or underwhelmed. There's an eclectic mix of styles and moods. I especially like "Travel," complete with snapping and dreamy lyrics of rain and wanderlust.

It's hard to put these guys into just one genre- those confining little boxes we use to wrap our heads around what a band is trying to do- but Ralph Hinkley Syndrome chooses "Indie/Alternative/Grunge" on their site, and they describe their musical style in the following manner:

"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)."

 It's a smorgasbord of style that will be sure to satisfy all your musical moods, any day of the week. You'll want to keep your eyes (and ears) on these guys.

Click here to access their myspace (and tunes!)


on my iTunes: Ralph Hinkley Syndrome's "Travel"

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