When I first saw the Linda Lindas perform “Racist, Sexist Boy”—in the May 2021 video from the Los Angeles Public Library that took the Internet by storm—I got huge “industry plant” energy from them. But I wasn’t really mad about it. The four-piece, which is made up of girls between the ages of 11 and 17, have already opened for Bikini Kill, signed to Epitaph, and appeared in a couple of Netflix properties. On the one hand, they may not have had all those same opportunities without their connections: two of the band’s members are daughters of Grammy-winning producer Carlos de la Garza, who’s worked on the most recent releases for Bad Religion (and Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz founded Epitaph). But on the other hand, even if nepotism helped thrust the Linda Lindas into the spotlight, they’re still a great band who shred on their instruments and write their own songs. Their debut full-length, Growing Up, overflows with youthful charm, and each member’s personality gets equal time in the spotlight. Bassist Eloise Wong is the band’s punk heart, with a perfectly slurred growl that recalls the Muffs’ Kim Shattuck; sisters Lucia and Mila de la Garza harmonize on glorious indie-pop melodies; and guitarist Bela Salazar tips her hat to riot-grrrl idols Le Tigre on tracks such as album opener “Oh!” Together or separately, the members of the Linda Lindas have bright futures ahead of them. Their songwriting skills are already amazingly sharp, and whether or not they had more doors opened for them than most bands their age, their music will inspire more adolescents to pick up guitars—and that’s a good thing.
The Linda Lindas’ Growing Up is available via Bandcamp.