Following up on their fifth full-length album, Pharmanomics, Ontario-based triad Street Pharmacy gives fans a taste of what’s to come on CD #6 with “Roaming Souls” – a reggae-rock tribute to believing in oneself. Street Pharmacy has made a name for themselves over the years as true DIY-ers, self-funding their reggae-inspired Legacy of Rudy album – featuring Cuban musicians for authenticity – and unanimously winning on television’s disBAND show to launch their rock-oriented Divorce LP. The band has been on the ascent ever since their debut Free Delivery album, despite lead singer and frontman Ryan Guay’s unfortunate medical circumstances. Guay, after receiving several misdiagnoses before doctors finally landed on encephalitis brought about by adult chicken pox, is ready to relate to the world the loneliness he endured throughout his prolonged healing process in “Roaming Souls”.
The song starts hard, striking down like a medical condition cropping up out of nowhere.
The song starts hard, striking down like a medical condition cropping up out of nowhere. After the initial intro, Guay’s soft vocals and the track’s fun beat reassure the listener despite a conspicuously dark tone. Don’t get too depressed, though, since the subject matter is rather uplifting. No matter how low on the totem pole you’ve sunk, no matter how burdened you are carrying weight you’ve never signed up for, you can persevere with the right attitude. And, what better time of year to release a track promoting a ‘New Me’ agenda than right after New Year’s? The track is laden with holiday themes, with the “lonely souls” of the real world compared to the inhabitants of the mythical “Land of Misfit Toys” featured in the Christmas cartoon Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Nostalgia and acceptance – all in one analogy. Unlike a toy, inanimate and lifeless, stuck at the bottom of a toy chest, everyone has a chance to snap into action and overcome their circumstances. Climb to the top of the proverbial box to lift the lid and “let the light shine through”. Only you can do this for yourself, so you better get going! As you age in life, you come to realize no one is “fresh out of the packaging” anymore – we’re all bitter, torn, tormented and just plain tired. But, if you believe yourself to be “brand new”, your positive energy will outshine the sour souls roaming alongside you. With the encouraging foundation built by the track’s verses and chorus, the bridge stands as a metamorphosis of sorts: a shredding guitar alluding to the unpredictability and exciting nature of change. Time to shake off that cocoon, leave the misfit toys behind and become your new self – a more accepting self.
Street Pharmacy has yet to make public a release date for their new album although “Roaming Souls” is now available on all digital outlets. And, to accompany the single’s release, Street Pharmacy kicks off The Great Welland Migration Tour! Why is it called that, you ask? Well, because the band is branching out from their hometown of Welland, hitting several Canadian cities before ending back in Welland February 10th. More like the great Welland migration and revisitation tour, but semantics… No American stops on the rundown, for now at least. To learn more about Street Pharmacy, visit www.streetpharmacymusic.com.
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Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.