National Music Reviews October 2015

Review: PWR BTTM – Ugly Cherries

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PWR BTTM

PWR BTTM
Ugly Cherries

Father/Daughter Records & Miscreant Records
Street: 09.18
PWR BTTM = Midtown + Glen Meadmore

PWR BTTM’s latest release is something as sensual and raw as the title Ugly Cherries might suggest. Working within the queercore genre, Ben Hopkins (vocals, guitar) and Liv Bruce (drums, vocals) provide you, your boyfriend and your boyfriend’s boyfriend with an exciting blend of ’90s-punk-inspired/indie-pop-fueled tunes that end up sounding similar to Weezer’s Blue Album and Pinkerton—covered, of course, in Urban Decay’s Catfight lipstick. Yet, Ugly Cherries isn’t without its surprises. Both Hopkins and Bruce flex their musical muscles, from soaring vocals and exceptional stick-work to touches of ’70s stadium rock and surf rock. Lyrically, PWR BTTM are writing near punk-standard themes: breakups (“C U Around”), relationship near-misses (“West Texas”), future/ideal romances (“I Wanna Boi”), social anxieties (“Nu 1”), and meditations on seemingly insignificant events (“Dairy Queen”). Ultimately, Ugly Cherries is a “gay-mazing” (“House in Virginia”), sonically-diverse and boisterous half-hour ride—worthy of the most elite playlist. –Z. Smith