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DLC Week of 5/25: Covet and The Linda Lindas

Dazzling musicianship or circle-pit energy? With Covet “lovespell” and The Linda Lindas “Oh!” you can have both. These two masterful – and very distinct – cuts are sure to be stuck in your head for days! New DLC is debuting Thursday in the Rock Band Music Store.

California math rock vets Covet returned with a powerful new album, Catharsis, in the spring of 2023. From this third LP came the album’s second single, the instrumental “lovespell,” which serves as a showcase for the Bay area trio’s musicianship and, as importantly, songwriting chops. In the hands of many, rock that is defined – at least in part – by technical proficiency can often descend into tuneless wankery, but not so with Covet. Led by guitar virtuoso Yvette Young “lovespell” is full of shimmering soundscapes, delicate and purposeful arrangements, and hard-hitting, emotive fretwork. 

The track’s first stanza, comprised of twinkly, atmospheric guitar supported by casually confident drums courtesy of  longtime (now former) drummer Forrest Rice and Jon Button’s tasteful bass segues into a soaring riff that carries and conveys real emotional release. With the second “verse” (again, no lyrics or vocals here), subtle synths inhabiting the background of the overall mix add another layer, another shade. At the two-minute mark we come to the bridge which is all dramatic stop-on-a-dime percussive gymnastics until 2:25 when the pace, intensity, and tone is brought down a bit and the overall picture is expanded with a plaintive sax solo by Alex Rose incorporated into the mix. At 2:56,  though, we’re back to the races with hard-hitting, grandiose chords and more sticky melodies leading “lovespell” to its satisfyingly uplifting conclusion (and a final, lovely sax run by Rose) at 4:12.

Young says of the song: “This one is the album closer. The closest feeling I get to falling in love is when I write and play music, and this song is a tribute to that feeling of being totally smitten by the joy of creating and feeling things deeply. It was important to me to leave everyone on a high note.” 

Mission accomplished!

Trying to neatly categorize Covet into one of the go-to rock n roll genres is something of a futile exercise: throughout “lovespell” you get the expected elements of math, but there’s also some shoe-gaze aesthetic here and there, a clear awareness of pop melody, and certainly moments where the listener asks, “At what point does ‘math rock’ become ‘prog-rock?’” When it’s a cut this good, none of that really matters, of course. This one’s going to take you on a ride!

From The Linda Lindas’ debut album, 2022’s Growing Up, “Oh!” is a revved-up punk anthem with attitude and melody to spare. Razor-sharp riffage, adolescent candor, and hooks for days make for a spikey dose of shout-along angst, an enthusiastically lurching earworm. The California quartet is made up of teen (and pre-teen – drummer Mila de la Garza was 11 when the song was released) sisters, cousins, and friends: aforementioned Mila on drums, bassist and vocalist Eloise Wong, and dueling guitarists Bela Salazar and Lucia de la Garza. The recording of Growing Up truly was a family affair, as, aside from the blood relatives and “found family” within the band, itself, de la Garza patriarch and Grammy-winning producer Carlos recorded and mixed the LP.

Beginning with a drum machine repeating a simple “one-two-three” beat, at the fifth repetition real drums come on board, along with ‘70s-style glam-punk guitar crunch and a solid bass line holding down the bottom end. The structure of the track’s verses becomes evident as Wong adds her vocals to the proceedings and we’re served up a call-and-response type of situation with the snarling, stuttering lead vox being countered by gang-vocals reacting with a shout of “Oh!” throughout. At :54 The Linda Lindas show that there’s more than just youthful energy at play here, with a soaring refrain that any pop act would be envious of. After a final verse we return to the chorus at 1:42 before the outro, which is a string of shouted “Oh!”s over the main guitar figure, and then screeching to a halt at 2:35

While this is rrriot rock, garage punk of the most fundamental nature, musically “Oh!” is deceptively more complex than a surface analysis might suggest (check out the walking, contrapuntal bass line during the choruses, the impeccably executed beat, or the clever six-string interplay). Lyrically, the gals wear their high-school acuity on their sleeves, with honest, insightful expression of frustration and self-recrimination without reservation.

“Punk is for everybody,”  Salazar has said. “The whole age thing isn’t that big of a deal because you should be able to have fun and play for as long as you possibly can at any age.” A track such as “Oh!” demonstrates that those aren’t just turgid talking-points for the press. The Linda Lindas have delivered a hard-hitting, infectious scorcher that isn’t restricted or defined by the years in which they were born.

Covet “lovespell” and The Linda Lindas “Oh!” are now available for $1.99 each.

  • Covet – “lovespell”
  • The Linda Lindas – “Oh!”

VIDEO: Rock Band 4 DLC Week of 5/25: Covet “lovespell” and The Linda Lindas “Oh!”



*Please note that this week’s DLC tracks will be available for purchase on Thursday, May 25th.