J. Prozac - Here Is My Heart (Cover Artwork)

J. Prozac

Here Is My Heart (2013)

Jolly Ronnie

Before pop-punk was used to describe a majority of the bands who's exposure to the sub-genre was their older sibling's copy of "Dookie", musicians such as J. Prozac looked deeper finding the Ramones, The Queers, Screeching Weasel, ALL and The Parasites. Prozac started The GrandPrixx in 1998 and immediately after they broke-up in 2002, he started The Prozacs. The Prozacs started to make a name for themselves on the same circuit as the Beatnik Termites, The Lillingtons, The Vindicatives and The Queers. The Prozacs were a slightly more mature continuation of The GrandPrixx and while The Prozacs managed to tour somewhat regularly during the early stages of the band, life eventually caught up with them. Many members joined and many members quit, with J. Prozac being the sole constant. This resulted in some great songs as well as some that were missing something. Towards the end of the band, you needed a scorecard as the members changed constantly resulting in all sorts of chemistry live. Some good line-ups, some not so good line-ups playing the identical set. Touring became more and more sporadic and as time progressed hundreds of other bands hit the scene and many of the pop-punk bands from the late 90's and early 00's stopped or broke up. J. kept at it with some form of The Prozacs or another but they were never able to drop everything and tour again. 2008's Playing the Chords We Love is a fine example of The Prozacs at their prime.

J. started recording a solo album in 2011, which is kind of ironic as The Prozacs were basically J., but the songs he was working on eventually became Here Is My Heart, released on CD and cassette by Jolly Ronnie Records. This record is truly a labor of love and it shows when you play any of the 10 tracks on their own or in sequence. The 10 tracks clock at just under 30 minutes, but they don't have the speed of early Ramones or The Queers, if anything it reminds me of Don't Back Down or some of the tracks on Rocket to Russia like "Locket Love" or "Ramona". The goal was to release an album of songs J. felt he could never get away with in The Prozacs and releasing this as a solo album was a smart move on his part. "Lucky Me" is a love letter to his wife and family and while the subject matter could elicit some eye-rolls here and there, it doesn't. "When I Was Two" is a great song based on a poem J.'s mother wrote and you know, it's one of the best examples of this album having a lot more to it than dismissing Here Is My Heart as "a solo album from the guy in The Prozacs." It's a pop-punk album on the surface but there's so much more to it than just that. The whole album is as catchy as the lyrics are personal and even vulnerable. The world isn't perfect for sure and while J. is the first to admit he's not perfect either, at least he's trying and Here Is My Heart is fine example of an album that was released quietly months ago, but its one that you can listen to repeatedly, not get sick of it and even identify with it.