Considering I was only six years old at the turn of the millenium, I don’t know if I have much of a right to consider myself a “90s” kid. My cultural knowledge began and ended with whatever toy came in my Happy Meal, and my CD collection consisted of a few terrible movie soundtracks and Smash Mouth’s Astro Lounge. With that being said, I have retroactively become aware of a toxic yet irresistibly catchy mode of songwriting that was bombarding my tiny, impressionable ears through to the early 2000s. I’m talking, of course, about the special brand of unrequited love anthem popularized by the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, Blink-182, and Wheatus, an archetype that has just been updated, de-toxed, and reclaimed by PWR BTTM with their new single “Answer My Text.”
While songs like “Teenage Dirtbag” pine for love from a distance in a creepy, voyeuristic way, PWR BTTM’s Liv Bruce is just asking for an end to the waiting game. They’ve extended the offer of intimacy, sent the boy in question “some emojis and a funny joke from that TV show,” then waited patiently for a response that never comes. It’s a universally relatable, undeniably modern story, but it never devolves into the uncomfortable finger-pointing of the aforementioned Wheatus hit. With that being said, its rallying cry of “Answer my text, you dick!” is just as irresistible as a hook, though it’s exponentially more inclusive. When the band plays Union Transfer this June, they’ll have no trouble getting the crowd to scream it back at them.
PWR BTTM’s Pageant is out May 12th via Polyvinyl Records. For tickets to their June 17th Philly date, head over to XPN’s Concert Calendar.
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