Jacksonville, FL Alternative Rock project PHARMACOSE has revealed their newest single, “Smash,” off of their newly combined LP, Prescription Fiction. Originally intended as a 2 album release that was ultimately disrupted by worldwide events in 2020, front-man and songwriter Wes Jones re-approached the focus and tone, broadening Prescription Fiction both stylistically and technically, with the result being an incredibly nuanced and introspective discussion of our modern society and cultural norms, all backed with a carefully constructed soundscape and instrumentation.
“The music for ‘Smash’ has been written for a very long time, but I just had not gotten around to recording it with Lu until a couple years ago. When I was trying to decide what to write the lyrics about, I felt that we had done a lot on mental health, so I wanted to branch out a bit. I have always been interested in what I call the ‘fun conspiracy theories,’ notably things such as UFOs, ancient aliens, the Mothman, etc. Growing up, I had a great uncle who was a brilliant aerospace engineer, and he was into all this stuff. It was really cool to see someone with such a strong science and engineering background and was into all this. So, I wanted to explore that interest some more. I came to realize that reading about those subjects made me feel very isolated, since it’s not a mainstream way of thinking. It made me a bit sad to think that. It made me wonder how many people were knowledgeable in this area but took this information to the grave because no one was interested in hearing about it. These realizations were the literal ‘smash.’ The irony is that now I feel a bit more justified due to all the information about UFOs that came out over the summer. I suppose that the sentiment this song conveys is a bit dated now with all this crazy footage being released, but I think the feelings of isolation are legitimate. I’m by no means saying that I think aliens are here and the Mothman exists, but I think we should be open to the notion that the normal person has no idea about what’s really going on.” – Wes Jones (Singer)
Pharmacose is a collaborative alternative rock project hailing from Jacksonville, FL, that combines steadfast analog sounds with cutting edge flair. The project– a portmanteau of “pharmaceutical” and “comatose” –began as a collaborative effort between Jones and producer and bassist Lucio Rubino. Frequent collaborators include drummer Albert Cruz and guitarist Kevin Horne, who also round out their live act. They have previously released material under the name Digital Array.
Jones, a Memphis native, formed Pharmacose in 2017 with producer Lu Rubino shortly after moving to Jacksonville to pursue new career opportunities. Rubino, a veteran producer and bassist, has worked with Paramore, Storyside B, and The Showdown, among many others. Their creative process was chiefly inspired by Jones, a medical doctor, and his past struggles with mental illness.
Drawing on such themes as reintegration to life in the wake of acute mental health episodes and the side effects of psychiatric medication, Pharmacose wields their brand of rock to let those suffering from mental illness to know that they are not alone. The result is a powerful, explosive lyrical journey into the depths of existence that would appeal to fans of Queens of the Stone Age, Porcupine Tree, Starset, Chevelle, The Mars Volta, and beyond.
By confronting anger, shame, and ultimately galvanizing hope, Pharmacose advocates for the awareness of mental health. Through vibrant soundscapes suffused with riveting synth. The group hopes to empower people to seek help, push through, and move from isolation toward connection.
Pharmacose released Prescription Fiction, Part 1, in 2020. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were gearing up to play live shows in anticipation of the release of part 2. With the subsequent lockdowns canceling those shows, Jones decided to begin working on new material and used the time to explore new sounds and assume a greater role in production. The result is several new songs, the first of which will be released in March 2022. In the meantime, Pharmacose will finally release Prescription Fiction as an entire album, rather than separately releasing part 2.