16 August 2013

L7 - Bricks Are Heavy


Well, this is an unusual album. Hard rock with a slight hardcore influence played by girls who dress like grunge kids (IE, look like scruff bags)? To quote a minor and slightly annoying internet meme: ERMAGERD!!! Due to dressing like tramps, L7 were lumped in with the grunge movement even though the music wasn't really grunge. (In fact, grunge wasn't even like grunge. It was a lazy tag which was first given to a group of bands who happened to come from Seattle - or sounded like they did IE Stone Temple Pilots - or even if they looked the part). Tours on Lollopolloza followed and for a short while, they seemed quite popular as their videos were all over MTV and I think they may have ended up on 'Beavis & Butthead' at one point. Alas, it wasn't to last and towards the end of the decade, they seemed to wind down quietly although apparently at a gig in London, they raffled a one-night stand with their drummer! Not quite up there with throwing a used jam-rag into the crowd at Reading Festival or getting their muff out on The Word (There were two twats on stage by that point, the other was Terry Christian). I think by that point, no-one cared.

As I said, the album is a mixture of hard rock with a few punk/hardcore elements and for the most part, it's good. A nice bit of sonic torment! Well, not really but it'll kill a half an hour. The two most stand-out songs are "Pretend We're Dead" and "Shitlist", not just because they're excellent songs but because they've entered pop culture by being on soundtracks to movies (Natural Born Killers - fuckin' brilliant, check it out!, Pet Semetary 2) and video games (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Rock Band 2). Mind, they are great songs. The rest veer from the good to the forgettable. It's just one of those things. Production is handled by Butch Vig who also did Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Sonic Youth. It's not as glossed over as 'Nevermind' was and sounds raw and dirty. It's perfect!

It's pretty much an album of the time and it shows, but it's not as bad, it's aged quite well. Whether modern audiences will be interested is up to debate but I suppose they could give it a go. I will say one thing - when you've got the likes of Katy FUCKING Perry being touted as some kind of female empowerment even though she makes candy-floss music, I guess they could do with something that had a bit of attitude and snot thrown in, and this album has it in spades.

7/10 - This is good and well worth a check.

Chris J.

You can buy this album on iTunes.

You can buy on Amazon.
You can listen on Spotify.

No, I'm not posting the performance from The Word where she gets her kebab out...

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