I first saw L7 play live at Lollapalooza, and let’s just say that this 16-year-old small town girl was blown away. They were hilarious, they were cool, they were not intimidated by dirtbag dudes in the pit, and, above all else, they rocked.
The more overtly political — but generally less musically skilled — riot grrrl bands made for better copy, and so they got more press attention then and now. But the L.A.-based L7 was no less feminist than their sisters from the Pacific Northwest, just because they favored flashier guitars and more leather in their dime store couture. I mean, lyrics like “some guy just pinched my ass/SHOVE”? It may not be Adrienne Rich, but it’s still an effective sort of feminist poetry. (Plus, guitars.)
Fighting the patriarchy personally makes me want to punch walls, and there is no better music to do that to than L7. And, in my long experience being a major stan for L7, I have discovered they are one of those bands beloved by the people who actually play in bands.
I didn’t see them play live for more than 25 years, but I finally caught them on tour again before the pandemic shut live music down. For whatever reason, having a little heavy metal DNA in your rock band confers immunity to getting lame with age, and L7 is no exception. They were just as fun as when I saw them in high school and will be fun forever.