If you’ve been following JOVM for a little while, you may be familiar with the New York-based queer punk duo PWR BTTM. Comprised of Ben Hopkins and Liv Bruce, band 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. 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 full-length 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.
The recently released official video features one of the band’s members playing video games, texting and going about his every day life while the other member takes part in some hilarious gender bending and footage of the duo both dressed in drag. If there’s one thing to take away from the video it’s this — they’re unafraid to be gloriously and unabashedly weird, and in your face about it.