"Love the Sound" - Reviews - Summer 2023

Exactly two years ago to this day, June 30th, Rootfire published a First Listen Premiere for The Medicinals’ debut single, “We Gonna Get Through,” an energizing blend of reggae, Afrobeat, and funk. Sort of a supergroup composed of members of local bands that perform roots reggae, electronic/drum and bass, hip-hop and indie-pop, the Rochester, NY, collective keep the “island vibes” going today with a new track accompanied by a video that is truly a love letter to their hometown. Their latest release, “Love the Sound,” a collaboration between guitarist/songwriter Dylan Savage of Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad and his cousin, Florida-based producer Jimmy Beats, offers a similarly vitalizing sonic tonic, yet with more lighthearted lyrics compared to their anthemic first single. Just as danceable, it is the perfect summer sizzler to lift spirits and get bodies moving, which makes its upful video, directed and filmed by Medicinals’ bassist/vocalist, Will Mckenna of “underground funktronic dance rock” band, RootsCollider, a perfect visual representation of the music. Yeah, you know it’s a real good time Living up, feeling life Turn up the music now Everybody just love the sound Upon the opening drum roll, a young woman, portrayed by friend of the band, Jackilyn Jamie Morehouse, turns up the volume on her car stereo. Alternating shots of her pretty, smiling face and her own point of view show her driving along the highway, approaching the city with its skyscrapers in the distance. Soon, through the car window, viewers see a series of colorful murals that showcase the city’s vibrant art culture, followed by a statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who published his newspaper, The North Star, in Rochester and lived in the City for many years. Next, the rich, horizontal light of golden hour enhances more shots of the artsy downtown landscape, which are interspersed with glimpses of Morehouse blithely dancing to The Medicinals on stage at The Lilac Fest, a downtown event that has been celebrating Rochester’s abundance of lilacs and live music for over thirty years. Back in the car, waterfowl serenely float on the Lake Ontario shoreline, followed by a shot of the full orb of the brightly burning sun and its deep orange rays reflecting off of the still water. From here, Morehouse ascends some concrete stairs to enter a funky little tiki bar, and seconds later she presumably emerges from the back to join some friends on the beach to bathe in the glorious apricot glow of the sunset. Next, viewers find themselves inside the tiki bar, amidst a supremely jovial crowd frolicking in reverie. (With the proper product placement, this could fittingly be a television ad for a Mexican beer or some sweet libation like Surfside Vodka & Tea.) According to Savage, this establishment is the legendary Marge’s Lakeside Inn, which has been around since the sixties and has an “amazing vibe” as the only bar in Rochester with a beach as its backyard and a breathtaking view of Lake Ontario. To me, the idea of Rochester always conjured up images of frigid, snowy weather, but after watching this video, I now have a completely different picture of the city. If I worked for the official tourism promotion agency of the city, Visit Rochester, I’d be making an offer to McKenna. As of today, “Love the Sound” is now available on streaming platforms and a must-add for those summertime vibes playlists!” - Dave Sheffman


"We Gonna Get Through" - Reviews - Summer 2020

And though The Medicinals are fairly traditional with their one-drop moves and deep-dish grooves, there is a lush underpinning that adds additional texture and tone spice. It’s happy but not frivolous, and serious all the while, assuring cynics and optimists alike that they are actually gonna get through. This single rocks steady.” - Frank De Blasé

City Magazine

While much of The Medicinals music fits centered under the reggae umbrella, “We Gonna Get Through” skirts the perimeter. While maintaining an essence of reggae, the overall concoction, propelled by brass that calls for people to stand up and march, vibes more like a funky Afrobeat/modern rock mashup. This instrumentation shifts the lyrical message of perseverance from simply a song of hope to one that has purpose, making “We Gonna Get Through” an anthem to rally the brave agents of change demonstrating in our streets to continue fighting the good fight.” - Dave Sheffman