The Hidden Agendas
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The Hidden Agendas

Williamsport, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Williamsport, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




Thrilling audiences with their high energy, humorous, hard rock performances throughout Pennsylvania and New York and with roots dating back to the mid-1990s, The Hidden Agendas are made up of Ron Fleeger (vocals/guitar), Matthew Zarzyczny (bass/vocals), Scott Gibbs (drums) and Sarah Gibbs (keyboards/vocals).

What can be said about The Hidden Agendas, except that they are the quintessential alternative-rock band. Energetic compositions, disturbing lyrics, a thrashing guitar, and powerful hooks make them a captivating band. If you’re naming your price and buying their debut EP, “Ragtime Gangsters”, you’re probably already obsessed, like the rest of us.

The Hidden Agendas can be harsh with “The Devil’s Hymn”, they can be raw and melodic on “The Mad Captain”, they can be punkish with “Dopelgangin’”and add Ska-based influences on “The Texan”, or they simply slow it right down with an eclectic arrangement and superb vocals on “Alien”.

This EP is stripped down to raw and hard-hitting instrumentation, without all the studio perfection that makes music more commercially viable. Yet the songs still shine like polished jewels. Thanks to Ron Fleeger’s surreal guitar and unique vocal style and pitch; Sarah Gibbs’ keyboard and soft backing vocals, providing a perfect counterpoint to Fleeger’s lead; Matthew Zarzyczny’s rolling bass and Scott Gibbs’ steady beat and drum fills.

This is pure alternative rock at its best as the songs alternate between the loud and thrashing and the slower and the melodic, all sewn together with excellent rock sensibilities and just a little catchiness vaguely thrown in here and there. With 5 songs on the EP, there is not enough space for tailing off, so the music is consistently fiery and intense, from start to finish. The guitar parts, the melodies, the playing, the vocals and the arrangements all contain what sounds like spontaneous energy, which helps deliver a greater assurance and power in the band’s overall sound.

I read somewhere in their bio notes, that the band are not particularly fond of “Ragtime Gangsters”, because it does not contain their newer, and what they consider their better material. Now I’ really curious to hear the next release! - JamSphere

"The Hidden Agendas Are a Driven Rock Band"

The Hidden Agendas are a driven rock and roll band from Williamsport, PA. One of the most striking things about their particular blend of sound is the contrast between the familiar and the unknown: I can definitely recognize the band’s musical inspirations in the rock and roll energy of Pearl Jam, the groovy stomp of country / Americana and the edge of contemporary alternative rock (think The Gaslight Anthem, Murder By Death…). On the other hand, the band’s approach to songwriting is completely unique and adds a completely new dimension to their music. Their songs (and lyrics) are fun and random, yet loaded with meaning and vision. From kaleidoscopic love songs to energetic rock anthems with the grit of punk rock music; The Hidden Agendas are versatile and creative enough to craft diverse albums and set lists. - The Bandcamp Diaries

"The Hidden Agendas – Ragtime Gangsters"

‘The Devil’s Hymn’ opens Ragtime Gangsters curiously, with washed out ethnic notes that shift into a screeching blast of rock and roll, passing through a spaghetti western vibe.
The bass thunders and the drums clatter with a crazy hecticness, all the while being perfectly and carefully held together by the song’s structure. Less heavy, but just as characteristic, ‘The Mad Captain’ tells a story that creates a vivid mental image, and is exactly the kind of song that would be thoroughly enjoyable to sing along to in a live setting with its sea shanty style. ‘Doppelgangin’ takes the singalong style even further, with its “woah woah” gang vocals that simply invite the listener to try to resist joining in. Rough around the edges but well presented, ‘The Texan’ takes a 2 step shuffle and embeds it in The Hidden Agendas’ own style of blustery Americana, creating a track that becomes a real toe tapper. Ragtime Gangsters draws to its close with ‘Alien’, a track that is more polished and emotional in its delivery, and one which eventually spirals into a huge unloading of fizzing, spluttering rock, creating the perfect conclusion for this powerful set of songs. - Crossradar

"Ragtime Gangsters Review"

Finally from Williamsport, PA comes the debut EP from The Hidden Agendas entitled "Ragtime Gangsters." Their music mixes hard rock vibes with acoustic Americana instrumentation to create some uniquely powerful music. The new five-song release begins the aggressive hard rock attack of "The Devil's Hymn" and the darker tone of the "The Mad Captain." Their sound is hard to pinpoint into one genre as "The Texan" and "Alien" have a hard rock vibe draped amongst a driving country/folk backdrop slathered with electric guitars. To find out more about The Hidden Agendas, please visit their Facebook page at - JPs Music Blog

"E.P. REVIEW: Ragtime Gangsters by The Hidden Agendas review"

The Hidden Agendas are a four-piece alternative rock group hailing from Williamsport, PA. They are the brainchild of singer/songwriter and guitarist Ron Fleeger and bassist/vocalist Matthew Zarzyczny, who formed the group in 2013, adding drummer Scott Gibbs and keyboard player Sarah Gibbs to the line-up.

Their music is hard to define in terms of genre, as it varies from song to song and draws on a wide range of electric influences. This five-track E.P. Ragtime Gangsters starts with the cathartic heavy rock of The Devil’s Hymn, which features a great lead vocal performance, relentless drums and a roaming bassline beneath a barrage of electric guitars. The powerful chorus (“I keep saying no….”) soon lodges in the mind, and it makes for an arresting opener.

The Mad Captain is quite different, almost like a Herman Melville story set to folk music. The chorus is simply huge, with what sounds like an entire ship’s crew singing it (presumably the idea!). This fantasy element is perhaps the influence of Coheed and Cambria, a band they cite. The narrative works well, the compelling story of the lyrics keeping the listener hooked.

Doppelgangin’ is more straightforward, alternative rock dominated by a crunchy guitar sound, with some quirky low-end riffs and unexpected chord changes. The Texan also has its share of unconventional and unpredictable chords, with a loping drum groove and a real reggae feel through the use of emphasising the offbeat. The chorus is fiendishly catchy and it’s another highlight.

Last track, the epic, five-minute Alien is a big contrast yet again, a mournfully slow song full of melancholy about being an outsider: “I don’t belong and I don’t fit in, I’ve never been able to be anything but alien….”. The unusual melody and rhythm these words are sung to somehow makes them all the more poignant and affecting. It’s an emotional close to a passionate collection of songs.

Overall, this is a very good E.P. that shows this bands musical and lyrical range, as well as their ability to craft inventive and memorable songs in varying styles. I expect them to continue to grow musically, and for their fanbase to increase with every release. I look forward to hearing a whole album in the future.

Alex Faulkner

Verdict: 8.4 out of 10 - The Faulkner Review


Still working on that hot first release.



The Hidden Agendas are a visionary, eclectic and innovative band with lyrical concepts that are as diverse and edgy as their blend of sound.

The band's music borrows from the vast vernacular of contemporary music in order to create a compelling and personal narrative with elements of rock, pop, punk and folk; echoing artists as diverse as Incubus, Pearl Jam or Murder By Death, just to mention a few.

The energetic "fun factor" in the band's formula is even more important than the rock and roll edge and the beautiful melodies. Ron, Matt, Scott and Sarah are having fun doing what they do, and they do it in their own special way - do you know many bands who sing about murderous spider queens, dancing while the world ends or Leviathans of love? I didn't think so!

Band Members