Classic pop hooks and a twangy guitar. That’s all you need. The Bottle Kids’ second release ‘Let Me in on This Action’ contains 13 power pop delights. Again, that’s all you need.
It’s quintessential old-school power pop ala The Nerves, Paul Collins or The Plimsouls. Wielding an inherently California blend of pop harmonies, swooning melodies, crunchy driving guitars and pleasantly lingering hooks arranged with an auteur’s precision, The Bottle Kids offer a soundtrack equally appropriate for an afternoon daydream, a poolside party with your crush or a long drive down the rocky, windy coast.
Conceived as the musical vision of frontman/songwriter/producer/engineer Berkeley native, Eric Blakely, The Bottle Kids embody the best of both “then” and “now,” combining Blakely’s deep roots in early 80’s power pop with a keen sense of songwriting and production for a refreshing, innovative and stubbornly irresistible sound.
You sing: ‘Let’s put some power back in pop. Don’t let those guitars ever stop.’. It is not only about the guitars, is it?
In a way it is. It is a nod to my favorite guitar players in Power Pop. I mention Larry Whitman and Bill Pitcock IV in remembrance of them. But it is more a playful way of saying don’t forget to put some big guitars on the song. Talking to myself more than anything else.
The younger days seem to be an important inspiration for this record. Everything was better in the old days or were you (just) reflecting?
I was reflecting on all the records that excited me most certainly. The period for me was from 1976 to the mid 80’s as far as Power Pop goes. Though I like a lot of things after that. But as I write I seem to tune it to that period.
Classic pop hooks and a twangy guitar, that’s what is setting you apart. Does that make sense?
I hope it does. I hope to achieve that. I think that is the formula for any good Power Pop record.
As I was living in Austin, Texas for many years I think the mix of Country and Rock guitars have influenced me in the “twangy” part of my playing.
Never tempted to add a 3-minute guitar solo?
Ha! Good question. Yes, and I have done so on stage live, stretching out solos if the mood and crowd are up for it. But for the most part, I think a great song can be 3 minutes or less, so I tend to try to make the solos serve the song rather than take over the song.
‘I Miss Her Goodbyes’. Parts of that song remind me of Oasis’ Don’t Look Back in Anger. Was she an Oasis fan? 😊
I am sure she would be! As we all know Oasis draws heavily from the Beatles, so she is probably a Beatles fan first. The chord progression does have an Oasis vibe to it indeed.
If you write songs, does the power pop style comes the most naturally?
I think I can tap into that state of mind effortlessly as so many Power Pop records excited me in my formative years, it feels natural to me.
Can you elaborate a bit on how ‘Let Me in on This Action’ came together?
The Bottle Kids project was a happy accident. I was in my studio just recording drums to write songs to. Just a simple exercise to write. I would sit and play the drums imagining music in my head. When I started writing to them it just sort of fell into place and I thought I might have an album here. I decided to create an alter ego, The Bottle Kids. That was the first Album, Such A Thrill.
I decided to do another album and put a bit more forethought into it without changing the creative process.
I recorded a bunch of drum tracks and wrote to the ones that inspired me. I waited a few weeks to listen to the drums to have a bit of objectivity then wrote to the ones that spoke to me. If there was a slight ” mistake” on the drum part I would play to it rather than ” fix” it.
Let Me In On This Action is the result of the same process but with more intent from the beginning.