Review of Pharmacose’s EP Prescription Fiction, Part 1

By Octavio Ramos Jr.

Originally using the name Digital Array to release some digital singles, singer-songwriter and
guitarist Wes Jones and producer Lucio Rubino decided to go all the way and form a full-fledged
band. In 2017, the duo formed Pharmacose, a portmanteau of “pharmaceutical” and
“comatose.” Hailing from Florida, the band fell into a sound made up primarily of alternative

The band’s debut EP, Prescription Fiction, Part 1, consists of six hard-driving but melodic tracks.
The EP opens with “Alternate Reality,” and almost instantly the guitars of Wes Jones (on
rhythm) and Kevin Horn (on lead) hit the chest with full force. There’s a mix of hard-driving rock
and roll, punctuated on some verses with the melodic aplomb of alternative, with the modern
sensibilities of emotional music. The vocals of Wes Jones carry some angst, with a mix of anger,
sadness, and bewilderment.

Things slow down with “Checked out,” with bassist Lucio Rubino setting down a driving set of
throbs copied by the guitars. This track reflects the thoughts of many modern young people,
with escapism through video games and social media to prevent the real pain of everyday life.
Next up is “The Clearing,” which uses subtle electronica elements to propel a driving and catchy
guitar rhythm strengthened by the percussive undertones of drummer Alberto Cruz. The
alternative sound is on full display here, with angry riffs reflected by more melodic moments in
the leads and hooks. Jones’ lyrics here are striking and worth reflecting on.
In my opinion, “Victory at Wit’s End” is likely the EP’s weakest track, as it brings out a modern
music sound so often heard today. As a result, it falls into the category of so many songs that
have become before it. However, the lead guitar here is much like the others, making worth a
listen for the mix of aggression and melody.

“I Keep Dreaming of the Sun” is a melodic track, but the mood here is somber. The percussion is
restrained, the guitar melodies beautiful and sardonic, and the lead vocal filled with a bright-
eyed melancholy of someone who has been deep within and only now is emerging from a
broken shell. This is a strong, sobering track of someone who has truly felt the pain and
uncontrollable feelings of suffering through a mental illness and those who stand outstand and
judge—judge harshly.