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The Linda Lindas - Growing Up Music Album Reviews

The Linda Lindas - Growing Up Music Album Reviews
On their debut album, the teen (and pre-teen) punk rockers turn adolescent angst and razor-sharp hooks into heartwarming pop-punk with ample charm.

Viral videos come in many forms: a lightsaber demonstration, a musical celebration of Fridays, a pig rescuing a drowning goat. In May 2021, the young punk band the Linda Lindas got their own taste of internet fame with a filmed performance of their song “Racist, Sexist Boy.” “A boy came up to me in my class and said that his dad told him to stay away from Chinese people,” the band’s drummer, Mila de la Garza, explains at the start, referencing an interaction that occurred shortly before Covid lockdowns. “After I told him that I was Chinese, he backed away from me.” Like countless women before them, the Linda Lindas reclaimed this painful experience by transforming it into a sludgy punk song. “We rebuild what you destroy!” bassist Eloise Wong shouts. The internet gobbled the clip up, with everyone from Thurston Moore to Paramore’s Hayley Williams declaring the Linda Lindas the absolute coolest.

The Linda Lindas were destined for greatness, one way or another. The Los Angeles quartet—whose members range between 11 and 17 years of age and are Asian American, Latin American, or both—began as part of a kid cover band organized by Dum Dum Girls’ Kristin Kontrol. The musicians, a mixture of sisters, cousins, and chosen family, then formed their own band. Within a year, they were opening up for Bikini Kill, who they later covered in Amy Poehler’s riot grrrl film Moxie. Shortly after the release of “Racist, Sexist Boy,” the Linda Lindas signed with the long-running punk powerhouse Epitaph. Their debut album, Growing Up, is potentially the most heartwarming record of the year.

The songs on Growing Up center on anxieties heightened by adolescence, like self-doubt, loneliness, and a lack of control. All four members—the aforementioned Wong and de la Garza alongside Lucia de la Garza (guitar) and Bela Salazar (guitar) —split songwriting duties, and each expresses her innermost thoughts with candor and precision. “If I were invisible/No one would judge me for/Wanting to be by myself,” goes one heartwrenching verse on the upbeat “Magic.” “But I’m already invisible/Enough without anybody else’s help.” But even when monstrous insecurity threatens to swallow them, the Linda Lindas anchor themselves to the hope that tomorrow will wash away the pain of today. On the Spanish-language “Cuántas Veces,” Salazar laments the agony of feeling like an outsider but lands on a place of acceptance: “I’m different/Not like everyone else,” she concludes. “And not the whole world/Will understand me.”

Beyond emotional acuity, the Linda Lindas also understand the power of a great hook. Arriving at under 30 minutes, Growing Up moves at a tight, bouncy clip, pogoing between power pop and punk, political statements and tributes to cats. The latter, “Nino,” is a post-punk sibling to the Shaggs’ “My Pal Foot Foot” that unexpectedly segues into a spacey, haunted breakdown; if you listen closely, the band say, you can catch a keyboard performance by a cat named Lil Dude. Other songs are more melodically straightforward: The anxiety spiral “Talking to Myself” channels the bubblegum stickiness of the Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack while the shout-along “Oh” evokes the Go-Go’s at their punkiest moments. Of course, “Racist, Sexist Boy” makes an appearance at the end of the album and sounds as invigorating as it did in the viral video; Wong’s sludgy snarl places her in a lineage of powerhouse punk vocalists.

Growing Up is produced by the de la Garzas’ dad, Carlos de la Garza, who has worked with Paramore, Best Coast, and Bleached. This detail, along with the bandmembers’ ages, might inspire cynics to levy charges of nepotism. But to do so would deny the Linda Lindas their agency and ignore one of the album’s major themes: that through the collective action of making music together, the Linda Lindas are empowering themselves and each other. This idea comes to a head on the title track as the band acknowledge that growing up can’t be either hastened or slowed. But if they have to be on this rollercoaster, they choose to ride its highs and lows together.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
The Linda Lindas - Growing Up Music Album Reviews The Linda Lindas - Growing Up Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, April 14, 2022 Rating: 5

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