Listening to PWR BTTM will fuck you up — that’s the whole point. Liv Bruce and Ben Hopkins make the kind of music that challenges you to dig into your own pain, to really get inside of your wounds, and emerge stronger for having done so. Their debut album Ugly Cherries is out today, and it’s one of the most honest, affecting records I’ve heard this year. For anyone who is struggling with issues that stem from being an outsider, or interrogating the bullshit facades of culture, this record is a salve. Bruce and Hopkins identify their music as “genre-queer,” but honestly, the emotions and struggles they grapple with here will appeal to anyone who is struggling with grief or loss, pain or oppression. Each song is a little vignette of bright pop-punk that spits in the face of life’s petty injustices, and does so in bright, hooky punk riffs.
Noisey premiered the video for “1994” today, and like the song, the visuals shift through cultural signifiers from the ’90s that are both unsettling and sweet in their strangeness. Each cult icon featured is altered slightly though to include some influence from the members of PWR BTTM themselves, a clever, cutting visual argument that we’re constantly remaking the past in our own image. PWR BTTM remind us that’s our power, that’s our prerogative. So yeah, listening to Ugly Cherries will fuck you up, but it’ll also be the record that helps put you back together. This video was produced, directed and edited by Rufus Paisley; I don’t even know what a triple threat is if it’s not that. Watch it below.