Comprised of Ben Hopkins and Liv Bruce, the New York-based queer punk duo PWR BTTM can trace their origins to when Hopkins and Bruce were students at Bard College. While as students, Hopkins and Bruce bonded over a mutual interest in bringing elements of performance art and drag art into DIY culture, and as a result the duo recorded a demo, Cinderella Beauty Shop and a split EP, Republican National Convention with Jawbreaker Reunion. And on those recordings Hopkins took up vocal duties and played guitar while Bruce was on drums; however, since then the duo have begun to share vocal and songwriting duties and have started to trade off instruments for particular songs.
The duo’s forthcoming full0length debut, Ugly Cherries will reportedly be about the duo’s experience with queerness, gender and adulthood over the course of a year of living in upstate New York. Album title track and latest single, “Ugly Cherries” consists of blistering power chords, thundering drums and vocals that alternate from a dreamy falsetto to a guttural howl. In some way, the song channels a number of power duos including White Mystery, The Black Keys, The White Stripes and others but beneath all the ass kicking, there’s a proudly defiant weirdness bubbling through the surface.