I get it: all indie bands have their hardships. From equipment break downs (most bands), to not having money to pay highway toll fees (Highly Suspect), the fuckery around paying your dues is pretty common. Some bands though just rise above and continue to road warrior along. PWR BTTM (Power Bottom) is such a group. November 9th, their van and all their stuff ended up stolen in San Francisco. They scrambled to get gear to continue their tour, and missed not ONE show. To add insult to injury, at a November 16 show in Jackson, MS, several anti -gay protesters showed up with signs and homophobia to protest the group’s show. PWR BTTM are gloriously, unabashedly gay. They just changed the show entrance, covered up the front windows, and soldiered on. This can do attitude has served them well and reflects in their music. So, I present to you PWR BTTM.
First as usual, the facts: PWR BTTM formed in 2013 while Liv Bruce (Drums, vocals) and Ben Hopkins (guitar, vocals) were still enrolled at Bard College, and are now based in Brooklyn. They released their first EP, ‘Cinderella Beauty Shop’ (2014), and their first full album ‘Ugly Cherries’ in 2015. The first thing you notice about this band is pride. They don’t bother to hide who they are, in their life or music. ‘Ugly Cherries’ is in all aspects a punk album, but there’s a charm, warmth, and relatability there that you don’t often see in most punk bands. Songs like “All The Boys” and ” I Wanna Boi” are sweet natured comments on the universal challenges of dating. They also aren’t shy about sharing the experience of being gay, both funny and sad. “Dairy Queen” is an upbeat take on flamboyant dating. Alternatively, “Serving Goffman” speaks about the more painful parts of growing up gay. Every song on the album is both tender and fun. Musically, PWR BTTM’s sound is as unique as they are. They have an upbeat, bouncy sound with a sharp punk edge. Ben’s guitar has a crunch with a voice that’s honey warm. Liv’s drumming is as driving as it is playful.
PWR BTTM is a band like no other, and don’t miss out on their brand of fabulous. “Ugly Cherries” can be found on all streaming and online music sites. They’re currently touring Great Britain.