The Linda Lindas blasted the dust off the degenerated riot grrrl genre with their recent debut album Growing Up. It would be generous to call them the harbingers of a new wave of feminist punk—one as kinetic and impassioned as what came out of Olympia in the 1990s. But it is opportune that the genre’s pioneer, Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna, has now released her first music in four years.
The effusive single “Mirrorball” is the first taste of a forthcoming benefit album featuring Kim Gordon, Kelley Deal, the Linda Lindas, and heaps more. LAND TRUST: Benefit for North East Farmers of Color was conceived by Erica Dawn Lyle—who plays guitar for Bikini Kill in addition to her work as an author, filmmaker, and campaigner—and Vice Cooler, who drums for the Raincoats and directs and produces other alternative groups.
“Mirrorball” is an auspicious introduction to the project. Hanna’s ardent hollering is a wake-up call to the idling activist, particularly when her voice passes a breaking point and the words become subordinate to the expulsion of ire. “If this is a party, where’s the mirrorball,” she sneers, while Lyle’s fortified guitar lines meet her at every ebb and escalation. She’s right, of course. This isn’t a party. But “Mirrorball” is a gleaming reminder of the unassailable underground continuing to do meaningful work. Hopefully, its reflections ensnare all the ‘assholes with attachés’ and beyond.
LAND TRUST is out June 3rd. Profits generated will benefit the NEFOC, which defines itself as “an Indigenous and POC-led grassroots organization that seeks to connect POC farmers to land to grow healthy foods and medicines for our communities”.