And just like that, another semester has flown by and come to a close. Gr8 Unknowns has been my own small, simple pleasure these past two semesters. Though this will be my last column as the ArtsEtc. editor (oh my), this won’t be my last one forever.
So with that, let us learn about yet another talented band, PWR BTTM.
This queer, punk duo captured my attention last year. It was the guitar riffs in their song “Ugly Cherries” that did it for me — they are fast and flow super well, further enhanced by the crashing drums.
Before I get too deep into the music, I’d like to introduce them further. According to their Spotify bio, the duo formed after attending Bard University together in New York. It was their shared love for drag culture that inspired them to get together and make music, introducing it to the D.I.Y music scene.
Their name is also based on a queer sex role, where the receptive partner plays a dominant role. They explained this in an interview with Fusion, and for them, the concept is “transgressive” and “empowering.” It is their identities, along with their music, that people have fallen in love with.
PWR BTTM’s talent is unwavering. Though only being able to rely on a band of two, they keep it interesting by switching roles between drummer, singer and guitarist, showing their versatility. Listeners and viewers are never bored during live shows. They also spice up their performances with tons of glitter, bold outfits and whimsical makeup.
Now to the music! It can be described as garage punk — it has lots of heavy guitar, distortion, power chords and crashing symbols. The perfect song to fit this description is “West Texas.” Listeners feel like they are ready to tear shit up after hearing this song.
While these traits carry on to the next song, it was the lyrics that drew me to it. They present multiple scenarios, like fucking shit up in Disney World, or doing their makeup in the parking lot, but the response is always the same — “But right now, I’m in the shower.” It’s genius.
Overall, PWR BTTM plays some damn good punk music, and in the end that’s what it’s all about. See you next semester Gr8 Unknowns. It’s been real.
Here are some more songs to enjoy: