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The members of punk rock trio Ryan's Hope came together in early 2002 outside of Chicago in Joliet, IL. The guys — singer/guitarist Terry Morrow, bassist Nick McLenighan, and drummer Greg Alltop — had been playing together for several years in the five-piece hardcore outfit Bound. But ultimately, the three sought fewer bandmembers and a more melodic direction, which took advantage of a diversity of influences like Snapcase, Metallica, the Living End, the Smoking Popes, the Misfits, and the Smiths. What resulted was a raucous combination of melodic punk with a metal edge played with the energy of a hardcore band. That spring, however, a close friend and early supporter of the band, Ryan McCarroll, was tragically killed in a car accident. To deal with their grief, the guys relied on each other and their music, and thus named the band Ryan's Hope in McCarroll's honor. Self-releasing two EPs, 2002's Weighing What Matters and 2003's Each Place I Hide, the guys also played a stint on the 2003 Warped Tour. Hooking up with Double Zero Records (founded by Smoking Popes' Mike Felumlee) in early 2004, the year saw the release of their first full-length, The Trials of Recession. The album garnered praise from various Internet and print zines, most notably the punk news site Punknews.org. Ryan's Hope subsequently became one of the first signings to the website's fledging label, Punknews Records, in October 2005. With distribution though Epitaph, their label debut, Apocalypse in Increments, was released the following April, again to positive response. Produced by Dan Precision (88 Fingers Louie, Rise Against), the album was a much more focused effort that displayed elements of Bad Religion and Thrice.