The Lindas - 8x9 (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Lindas

8x9 (2019)


Nine songs in nine and a half minutes and let me tell you, every second counts. The Lindas are a new band that includes members of California’s Le Shok, FM Bats and Grand Elegance, but none of that matters. What does matter is that this band has made a fairly dangerous sounding punk record.

On the lightning fast 8x9 (one suspects “Piano Concierto No 2” doesn’t count as a full song with its 27 second run time, hence the ”8”) the band embraces the fuzzy, grime of the Velvet Underground and wraps that murky sheen over a distinctively dark sounding record. “Come to Mommy” is a creepy song about an overbearing matriarch. “Dead Lovers” has the spooky line “I’m holding hands with dead lovers/some things don’t change…” Now sure, the band is having fun reveling in some dark misanthropy, but there does seem to be a tap to that dark vein that fueled so many earlier LA punk classics.

The grim frenzy of bands like the Screamers and the bleaker side of X are what gives this band their distinct angle, especially on tracks like “I don’t give a fuck.” Though, thankfully, this isn’t a retro record. This sub minute snappers are too minimalist to really be derivative of the first wave punk singles and there’s too much whimsy (be it shrouded in what-the-hell style nihilism) to be an ode to Alan Vega and Martin Rev’s suicide, even though the clanking keyboard here provides a much welcome homage to early synth-punk.

Rather, it’s the twisted poetry here, like on tracks “Savage Children,” which really do make this release its own thing. Just as the driving tunes are bathed in a dripping murk, giving them menace, the lyrics are often willfully indirect- you know something bad is going on, but you’re not sure what. Take “Save Children Cutting Morals Loose,” for example.

8x9 may be a short record, but it’s impactful in both its message and brevity. A core tenet of punk is to make your point without any excessive bullshit. 8x9 makes about as sharp a point as any other record (though masterfully, the literal interpretation is up to the listener) and there isn’t one second of bullish here. Four days in and I’m already REALLY excited about 2019’s punk rock.