Viral teen punks The Linda Lindas clearly know their history

At its purest and most undiluted, punk rock is all about channelling legitimate rage and unbridled anger. Which is to say that Green Day and the Offspring obviously missed the memo.

The Linda Lindas from Los Angeles, on the other hand, clearly know their history.

The quartet is made up of four young women. And by that, we’re talking really young: drummer Mila is 10 years old, with her bandmates Eloise, Lucia, and Bela ranging from age 13 to 16. But proving that age is just a number, the Linda Lindas have already built an impressive resume, playing pre-pandemic shows with Bikini Kill, Best Coast, and legit LA punk icon Alice Bag.

But past accomplishments isn’t why we’re here today. A couple of days ago the Los Angeles-based upstarts – who describe themselves as “a half Asian/half Latinx band featuring ‘two sisters, a cousin and their close friend’” – found themselves playing the Los Angeles Public Library as part of AAPI Heritage Month.

There’s an easy way to describe the band’s set: Holy. Fucking. Shit.

Covers included The Muffs’ Big Mouth and Bikini Girl’s essential Rebel Girl. But it was an original that has set the Interweb on fire. And attracted raving accolades from everyone from Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello to Paramore’s Hayley Williams.

The song is called Racist, Sexist Boy and it sounds like Pretty On The Inside-era Hole in a bloody no-holds-barred cage match with L7 and Tribe 8. Which is to part scorched earth punk and part scarily feral grunge.

While the title pretty much says everything you need to know, Mila nonetheless added a bit of additional background during the Linda Lindas library set.

“A little while before we went into lockdown, a boy came up to me in my class and said that his dad told him to stay away from Chinese people,” Mila noted before the song. “After I told him that I was Chinese, he backed away from me. Eloise and I wrote this song based on that experience.”

Before this whole lockdown business, a popular narrative was that rock – punk or otherwise – was finally, and officially dead. Against all odds, it somehow just got off the mat. Again.

Duck and fucking cover. And thank the Linda Lindas for the greatest thing you’ll see all week.

This story originally appeared in the Georgia Straight.


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