L7 brought feminism to the front rows of the grunge scene in their lyrics and in their actions. This was a band with a sound as hard and lean as any of their contemporaries. They arrived on the gig circuit gimmick free and armed with an arsenal of songs that pushed and pulled that hot new sound in several directions.
L7 were a heavy rock band who buzzed around the bottom end of the tuning scale on songs like Pretend We’re Dead and ripped up a fierce punk noise on it’s B-Side Shitlist.
Their gender didn’t feature in the way they played or marketed themselves. Gender perspective did feature in the lyrics of several of their songs, by way of addressing the struggle against dickhead guys getting handsy in clubs on Everglade or evading the threat of sexual assault on Can I Run, to give a couple of instances.
On a red seven inch vinyl, I knew I’d bought one of the great rock and roll artefacts of the era when I got my limited edition numbered single home and dropped the needles on the A-Side. By the time I’d flipped it and heard what would probably become their most famous song (thanks to a memorable scene in Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers) I was smitten.
Pretend We’re Dead doesn’t sound like any other record. It certainly doesn’t sound like any other hit single. It’s uniquely danceable for a rock record from the era of plaid shirts and baggy shorts. It is a small red master piece.