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June 19, 2024

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4HR Ramona
Pharmacy Park (Yeah, It's Rock Records)

By: Alex Steininger

With both guitarists sharing vocal duties on most songs, the male/female vocal medley goes well over the sizzling rock beats. The band can be melodic, they can rock out, or they can sit back and have while doing whatever they want. On PHARMACY PARK the band proves to be a solid rock outfit capable of some powerful bursts that will burn inside your head.

The CD starts to roll with "Any Day Now," a song that builds up to some powerful rock 'n' roll, but never seems to capture its own energy. By midway through the song the drive seems to be gone, leaving everyone hanging. But they quickly recover on "Beautiful," churning out some intense rock moments with some decent lyrics to keep you listening and singing along. The hooks are sharp as razors, liable to cut you in an instance, while the sweet melody rest comfortably behind a punchy beat that fuels the song.

From there the band keeps the blood pumping, hitting one of the high points on this disc with "Can't Go Back." The song carries the infectious nature of a good pop song, but busts through any pop conceptions with a monstrous rock drive that just refuses to rest. The guitars are at once heavy and loud, then the next they aggressively crawl, building the song up in anticipation of one big bomb, which the band keeps delivering during the chorus.

Of course, another high point is the Bruce Springsteen cover, "I'm On Fire." While it may not be as good as the Boss', the band seems to parallel his intensity and the sheer rock magnitude that seems to be standard in Springsteen's rock numbers. Hard hitting drums couple nicely with the fist-packing wallop of the bass, and the guitars certainly hold their own with razor-sharp riffs. The dual vocals help keep the melody sweet, but never stray off into the sugar category; they always keep things meaty and muscular -- like intense rock should be.

There are times the songs seem to repeat themselves and/or get stale, but, for the most part, the band's energy level and driving force keeps the good times pumping and the rock rolling from note to note, song to song. A tight rock quartet is what you'll find here. I'll give the album a B.

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