THE LINDA LINDAS’ GROWING UP
After The Success Of Their First Single “Racist, Sexist Boy,” The Linda Lindas Have Finally Released Their Debut Album
By Aileen Tran
A reincarnation of the riot grrrl subcultural movement, the Linda Lindas are anything but underground. They’ve played alongside feminist punk pioneers, like Bikini Kill, and captured the attention of the likes of Amy Poehler and Lisa Ling—both of whom recruited the band’s talents for the Netflix movie Moxie, and for the theme song for the documentary series Take Out With Lisa Ling. Although the Linda Lindas are in the midst of their teenhood-the members range from 11 to 17 years old-they’ve established themselves as a force to be reckoned with.
The Linda Lindas released their debut studio album, Growing Up, on April 8th. The all-girl group consists of four members: Bela Salazar (17), Eloise Wong (14), Lucia de la Garza (15), and Mila de la Garza (11). The punk-rockers, who identify as Asian-American and Latino, garnered world-wide attention when a performance of their song “Racist, Sexist Boy”-written in response to the drummer Mila’s experience with Sinophobia-blew up on the internet, landing them a record deal with Epitaph Records. Regardless of being the youngest member, Mila has proven the group is not shy about voicing their frustrations—and they won’t take shit from anyone.
The first track ,“Oh!”, is a ferocious rock anthem, with chants reminiscent of the Ramones. The first single they’ve released since they went viral, “Oh!” was written about the hopefulness that comes with trying to help someone, but with no avail.
The next track, “Growing Up,” starts with a slow riff before a sudden burst of electric energy. Lyrically, the Linda Lindas explore the unknowns of navigating the world as teenagers. They highlight the importance of strength in numbers with, “We’ll take the good with the bad/All of the times that we’ll have/Make every moment last/We’ll have each other’s backs.” Although the lyrics cater more towards adolescent experiences, their emphasis on the value of solid friendships rings true for all audiences.
In “Talking to Myself,” the band explores feelings of anxiety and loneliness. In a similar vein as the previous track, they stress the value of friendship, and having someone to talk to when you’re spiraling into the trap of overthinking. With the relatable lyrics, “I'm just stuck in this one moment/It keeps replaying in my mind/I can't keep on runnin' from it/And now it's wasting all my time,” the Linda Lindas prove, yet again, that these human afflictions have no age restrictions.
Next, the tracks “Fine” and “Why” radiate the same powerful production as the rest of the album—which, at times, can be repetitive. With gritty vocals akin to Joan Jett, the Linda Lindas growl about their frustration with social injustice issues and being ignored. “You hear us shouting but you don't hear a word/You know we're dying but you say that we're jerks/You keep on going but you think it's fine.”
Some of their songs are a bit more juvenile (which is totally appropriate, all things considered). In “Nino,” the head-banging production is accompanied by the line, “I have a cat/His name's Nino/He's a savage cat/Killer of mice and rats.” Although the lyrics and musical style don’t necessarily match up, it’s the perfect song for a cool little kid.
They pay homage to their members’ cultural backgrounds with the track “Cuántas Veces.” The lyrics are sung solely in Spanish, and explore coming of age themes, such as insecurity, feeling misunderstood, and feeling different from everyone else.
The girls touch on struggles with self-acceptance and coming to terms with reality in the last few tracks, before ending on “Racist, Sexist Boy,” the very song that shot them into fame. With guttural vocals evocative of Courtney Love’s Hole era, the Linda Lindas are paving the way for the resurgence of the grunge scene—all while condemning racism and bigotry.