The Linda Lindas - Growing Up (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Linda Lindas

Growing Up (2022)


In the mid 1970's, punk rock burst onto the scene. A genre that touted itself as more authentic than several artists that were prominent in the mid-70's music scene. It was a genre said to be based around chaos, as opposed to the currated media images many recording artists of the era had. It is perhaps no surprise that in a genre so dedicated to subversion of the rules; one of the cornerstones of the genre, Sex Pistols, began subverting the rules of the genre almost immediately. Their manager had connections that would get them labeled an industry plant today, their lineup and image were curated by said manager, and their album was co-produced by Chris Thomas who had previously worked with The Beatles, Procol Harum, and Pink Floyd. So, why is this band held in such high regard when such critiques have gotten other bands laughed out of the genre? The songs hold up. With that in mind, nevermind the Sex Pistols. Here's the Linda Lindas.

The Linda Lindas debut, Growing Up, is an infectious album of either punk influenced pop or pop influenced punk. Whatever the appropriate term for the music here is, it gets stuck in your head.  Topically, this album discusesses things teens and tweens deal with on a day-to-day basis. Which may make the album difficult for older fans of the genre to relate to. We're not the intended audience though, our younger siblings, kids, nieces, and nephews are. 

The most well known song on the album, "Racist Sexist Boy", is a great song. Not in the sense that it delves deep into the sociological implications of racism and sexism. But, because it gives a voice to young people, who have to deal with these issues. It makes them feel seen, in much the same way early Riot Grrrl made women in the punk scene feel seen or bands like Queercore provided members of the LGBTQIA community with visibility they didn't have in punk. Maybe it's not relatable, or pertinent, to people who have hit college age. But, why should it be? Young people need a voice in this genre that is not only capable of speaking to them, but for them.

That's why this album works, the band recorded an album of solid songs. They also recorded an album of songs that speak to young people, especially young females. If we're going to fault a band for an album of solid songs that speak to an under represented demographic within this genre we call punk rock, that's on us to sort out. It's not on the Linda Lindas to make sense of for us.