By Colin Joyce
Rock and Roll has always been music for and of youth culture. It's ostensibly constructed to warm the loins of adolescents with pockets full of their parent's money—though its not very often that its made by the same kids that consume it all. After all, "Rock and Roll High School" was written by a 28 year old Joey Ramone.
But when those high schoolers do manage to get in the game themselves, it carries a certain weight. Whether it's jealousy or inspiration, there's something inarguably engaging about songs penned by adolescents. While there have certainly been exceptions within the realm of mainstream rock (looking at you Pete Townshend and Paul Weller) it has been the rise of DIY culture that's contributed to an increased youth engagement in guitar music.
With hardcore punk, Riot Grrrl (as well as other slackerly lo-fi of the early '90s), and the technological innovations of the 2000s, the structures and conventions of underground music made it possible to drum up recordings of the songs they were writing, just for the thrill of it, and to disseminate those recordings cheaply and effectively.
Rock and Roll was made by adults for the consumption of children, but indie rock allowed kids to drum up tunes simply for themselves. While that youthful energy and attention is the exception rather than the rule, we've scoured 30 years of indie rock history to present (chronologically) some of the best songs written by teenagers.Click to start the list