Broken Toys -- Prozac Baby / Pocketbook

Broken Toys
Prozac Baby /
Pogo Stick, 1994

Methuen, Massachusetts's Broken Toys have been releasing records for twenty years now and still, for no discernible (or, at the very least, justifiable) reason, hardly anyone other than the most voracious of record collectors seem aware of their existence. It's unforgivable, really.

The A-side of this disk sounds like it could have been on the Dead Boys' Young Loud and Snotty. Scratch that. The A-side of this disk sounds like it should have been on the Dead Boys' Young Loud and Snotty. I don't even care if this sounds bombastic or that it's a blatant anachronism (after all, Fluoxetine wasn't approved by the FDA until a decade after the Dead Boys imploded); "Prozac Baby" should be right up there with "Sonic Reducer" and "Ain't it Fun?" on Dead Boys greatest hits compilations. That's all I'm going to say.

The B-side, "Pocketbook" retains a few vestigial traces of the Stiv Bators-Cheetah Chrome desperation, but is much closer in spirit and sound to the playful brand of pop-punk soaking up the American midwest during the mid-nineties (it was, however, recorded in 1992). Whereas "Prozac Baby" is a bit on the slower, brooding side, "Pocketbook" speeds things up, swaps the Richard Hellish vocals for something closer to what one might expect out of, say, Walker, and churn out a bouncy, danceable tune.

Lyrically, the Broken Toys fit squarely in with the irreverently apolitical sort of stuff I associate with other pop-leaning punk bands from the nineties. I mean, "Prozac Baby" is about an emotionally and/or psychologically troubled girl "who ain't crazy" and takes "a little pill" to elevate her mood and the boy who loves her while "Pocketbook" deals with the aftermath of petty theft. You know, nothing too deep or overtly proselytory. Just fun.


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