Sunday 25 October 2020

Ralphie's Red Ryders - My Decoder Ring


  Ralphie's Red Ryders ( are the new band from Holman, Indiana who I introduced back in March ( I mentioned that they'd have a debut album out in November on Outloud! Records and Radiant Radish Records and as we're only a week away from the cd release and there's a new video available I thought now would be a good time to tell you how good the album is. 

  It features the talents of Ralphie (guitar, vocals) Flick (bass, vocals) and Schwartz (drums, vocals). If those names seem familiar, it's quite possible you've seen a 1983 movie called A Christmas Story which is supposedly very popular in The States but I can't say I've ever had the pleasure. As I'm not a fan of Christmas movies I can't honestly say I'd want that dubious pleasure! But if someone who think's Christmas movies are to be avoided at all costs loves this album then quite possibly you will too. 

  It's fun. A fuzzy warm nostalgia fest boasting  a dozen power pop cuts. Just imagine if The Ramones and the Beach Boys hosted a joint Xmas party. It's exactly what the tag bubblegum pop was thought up for. I'm sure fans of the movie will notice those tracks are inspired by the movie and I'm sure they'll know exactly who The Bumpus Hounds are or where Higbee's is (supposedly it's the greatest toy shop). If, like me, you have no idea what Tinker Toys are or why Randy can't put his arms down, it doesn't matter in the slightest. You'll still have a blast. 


    Before I get tempted to write the words Vista and Blue, I'll quickly post the video. 

  A secret decoder ring (or secret decoder) is a device which allows one to decode a simple substitution cipher. As inexpensive toys, they have been often used as promotional items by retailers, radio and television programs from the 1930s through to the current day. The most well-known example started in 1934 with the Ovaltine company's sponsored radio program Little Orphan Annie. The show's fan club, "Radio Orphan Annie's Secret Society", distributed a member's handbook that included a simple substitution cipher with a resulting numeric cipher text. This was followed the next year with a membership pin that included a cipher disk - enciphering the letters A-Z to numbers 1-26. In A Christmas Story, Ralphie becomes a member of the Radio Orphan Annie's Secret Society fan club and decodes a secret message sent from Annie to her fans only to be disappointed it reads "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine." 

  This is My Decoder Ring... 

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