The last time No Echo checked in with Ryan Struck, he was promoting Precision Grooming, a 7-inch from his then solo project, Scary Hours. Since then, the New Jersey-based vocalist/songwriter has fleshed out a fully formed lineup of musicians to help him bring everything into focus, both on stage and in the studio.
Featuring ex-members of Knuckle Up, Ides, and Inside the Beehive, the refreshed version of Scary Hours debuted via a track called "Western Thirst" last month.
Today, the NJHC outfit is back at it with "Sackler Street," a commentary on the murderous greed of the Sackler family and their role in the ongoing opioid crisis:
“I just really want people who struggle with substance use to know that, despite what your parents or DARE or the Reagans told you, your battle with addiction does not inherently make you a shitty person," Ryan tells No Echo. "This is something very real that happens to very ordinary people. Perhaps your decisions led you down a dark path, perhaps you’ve done things you’re not proud of, but that doesn’t merit a death sentence.
"I recently watched the series 'Dopesick' on Hulu which led me down a research-rabbit-hole on the history of the opioid crisis. As a peer-support volunteer for a recovery organization, and, invariably viewing it through my political lens, the complicity of the FDA and the greed of the Sackler family/Purdue Pharma devastates me."
The aforementioned Dopesick was one of 2021's most critically acclaimed TV series. "Lots of patients who were promised a cure for their pain with a low dose prescribed by a medical professional ended up in the throes of a deadly addiction, doing things they never thought they would; this is the meaning behind the ‘on ramp/off ramp’ tag in the song."
Ryan continues: “Many conservative Americans are quick to perpetuate stigmas around addiction, drug use, and harm reduction programs with no reproach for the systems that facilitate this murderous level of consumer exploitation.
"New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy just signed a legislative package which will, in theory, create ease of access to harm reduction programs for users. New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition is working hard to keep users safe until they may be ready to pursue a path of recovery. Any monies made from this single will be donated to NJHRC.
“I drew the artwork with pens and colored pencils, a bleak representation of how much these deadly drugs have become part of everyday life. Musically, we wanted to take the sound into a direction that’s as melodic as it is heavy, and what came out is pretty menacing! There are snippets of influence from newer bands like Knocked Loose and Dying Wish as well as some more metallic stuff I’ve been into like Disembodied and Black Dahlia Murder. It’s been really sick working with the guys in the band and I’m stoked they all got to be in the video."
"Sackler Street" is available on all streaming outlets, including Spotify.
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