Bottlekids – Zilch

  • Pete Gross posted
  • Reviews


Zilch - SBÄM Records

Bottlekids are a big sounding and tight trio from Chepstow, UK. Again, I have no idea where that is, however I imagine it is a suburb of a bigger city. That’s because Bottlekids sound like a band from the suburbs. Just, the suburbs on the west coast of the U.S. not the east coast of Wales (I googled it). They are back with their second EP, Zilch, that was released on May 27, of this year 2022. Zilch is a follow up to their debut self titled 2019 EP. Both offered up by the Milan, Italy, based SBÄM Records.

Track 1 Already Dead  – Fist thought is this sounds like a California band that fell off the NOFX tree. Please don’t get whiney. The production is bright, warm and punchy. I love hearing new-to-me producers’ recordings and their versions of a punk recording. This producer, Romesh Dodangoda, knows what real pop-emo-punk sounds like. The break in this song unexpectedly stretches their sound. Drummer, Ben Chappell, has chops, and he plays in that pocket. There is a video for this song where singer/guitarist Joe Grogan plays a Fender Telecaster. Its warm tone and bubbly single notes really resonate with the listener. The song may be titled Already Dead, but the lyrics, conversely, will help pull you through.

Track 2 Peachy – Now this song leans more to the D.C. / Dag Nasty sound. It features fast spit vocals too. Those two styles rarely meet in a song, and when they do meet, it’s usually not kosher. However on this track it’s definitely grooving. Singer, Joe Grogan, is hitting some sweet notes too. I’m impressed. Very catchy. I’m in. Chappell, bouncing off those toms makes you wanna move.

Track 3 Nowt – Very melodic sing along lyrics. Nice guitar break. Joe Grogan throws in some octave chords too. Throughout this record Joe really adds a lot of feel with great use of octave chords. Would like to see how they pull off these vocals live; which others in this trio are singing along.

Track 4 This Idiocracy –  I thought this Zilch EP was melodic so far? This song even stretches it further. Clean guitar? Johnny Thomas throws down some nice bass guitar harmonies on this one; showing off some fills. His bass sound and playing is as good and tight as it gets throughout. Some real catchy almost emo singing. This is fall in love music but Joe’s singing about the falls of social media and its toll on our sanity. It definitely works. 

Track 5 The Irreplaceable Past – This song takes a dark turn. A bleak look at the now and the future. The guitars and bass really show off in this one. Tight, aggressive, melodic, more octave chords, broken up chords, muted crunchy chords, all present in this track. This song sort of has it all for a punk song. These songs are all delivered in a desperate “I love you emo style” tone, even when the lyrics are about social relevance or issues that are socially relevant.

Track 6  Sick – Again guitarist/singer Joe Grogan has chops and licks. He’s kind of a bad ass MFer. Billie Joe and Mike Palm beware. I don’t know if they have toured a lot, but this band has that, we tour-a-lot sound. Joe reaching for some sweet emo notes in this one. He avoids sounding whiney by staying closer to the punk tip throughout Zilch. Thank you! I like the way they left in one scream that was a touch off key but sounds punk as hell, so you leave it in for authenticity. Great production choice.

If you’re a fan of that 90s California punk sound ala Lagwagon, NOFX, Good Riddance, Descendents, Dag Nasty, Satanic Surfers, Propagandhi, Agent Orange, New Found Glory, etc, Bottlekids should rocket up your charts. Also if your heart has an aching for that special someone and you’re not sure what’s gonna happen, this is also for you. If Bottlekids come to your town, they will likely put on one hell of a tight and melodic punk show. And they may just steal your girlfriend while they’re at it.

Get this rocking 12” Zilch on Blue & Yellow Marble vinyl, courtesy of SBAM Records here