How could one not fall in love with PWR BTTM?
The first time I saw the duo was in a Bushwick basement with Nonsense and Slothrust. Within a second of taking the stage, the entire audience was mesmerized. Ben Hopkins (vox, guitar, drums) towered over most of the crowd decked out in a dress with his guitar hanging from a rainbow strap, covered in sparkling stickers and lipstick. Liv Bruce started behind the kit, but the pair swapped vocal and instrumental duties throughout the set.
Glitter and gender-bending are nothing new to rock n’ roll. While the Ziggys and Iggys and Dolls of the past toyed with gender performance, PWR BTTM’s performance obliterates gender lines in its honesty. Luckily for the audience, the duo shares their experience with queer identification openly, tied up neatly into catchy, riff-heavy garage punk songs.
PWR BTTM’s songs are inclusive and encouraging. They are constantly breaking the mold of what it means to be “punk” and what it means to be “queer.” Both the music and the performance embolden the listener not to passively accept the constructs in which society places them. No less impressive in the band’s ping-ponging between lighthearted (Carbs) and social commentary (Serving Goffman) to simply wanting to Kill All Assholes.
Listen to the band’s debut album below…
Saturday, October 10 @ Shea Stadium (NYC) – Slothrust, PWR BTTM, Winstons (Band), Jesus Jim
Wednesday, October 14 @ Aurora (Providence, RI) – S (Jenn Ghetto), PWR BTTM, Eric and the Nothing
Friday, October 16 @ Cake Shop (NYC, CMJ) – PWR BTTM, Nai Harvest, Stealing Sheep, Deradoorian, The Album Leaf, Avan Lava
Sunday, October 18 @ Palisades (NYC, CMJ) – Bad Cello, Comfy, Bethlehem Steel, Fern Mayo, Diet Cig, Downies, PWR BTTM, I Tried to Run Away When I was 6, Vagabon’, Hiccup, Sports, ROMP, Nicholas Nicholas
Saturday, October 31 @ Shea Stadium (NYC) – Joanna Gruesome, King of Cats, Aye Nako, PWR BTTM