Written by Eric Sperrazza, Photos Provided by Charmed School Media
When I think of the band, L7, I go right to acknowledging them as conquistadors of the Riot GRRRL movement. I think of lead singer, Donita Sparks, as one of the foundational voices of punk music, today. The first time I heard L7, they were not rock royalty yet. It was on the Major Motion Picture soundtrack of Oliver Stone‘s “Natural Born Killers” when I was introduced to them.
A hyper-violent scene in the movie saw Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis‘s characters, Mickey & Mallory Knox, at a roadside diner on the aptly-named highway, “Route 666.” A song cued up in a diner jukebox…a dark, garage-powered song, seemingly as violent as the movie it was playing in. The song was L7’s “Shitlist” and I watched wide-eyed while Mallory sang the words while beating the rude yokel to a pulp.
Years later, I would have the privilege of seeing L7 at the legendary Pontiac Grille in Philadelphia. As my face was melted off, properly, I found out, firsthand, that the energy of L7 and the sheer ferocity of their sound, while fun to hear in a movie, was mind-blowingly face-melting and worth every single cent of admission!
L7 was originally formed in California, in 1985. Aside from Sparks (lead vocals and guitar), the current lineup offers (guitar, vocals), Jennifer Finch (bass, vocals), and Demetra Plakas (drums and vocals). However, it wouldn’t be until 1992 that the seminal LP, Bricks Are Heavy, would be released, giving the 90’s the unforgiving assault of singles, “Pretend We’re Dead,” “Wargasm,” and “Shitlist.”
In 2022, L7 embarked on a tour celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Bricks Are Heavy, promising attendees the entire album played, cover-to-cover. The success of this tour saw the band staying on the road into 2023, and now, L7’s In Your Space show comes to the East Coast!
On September 14th, the band will be at the famous Wonder Bar in musically-historic Asbury Park. On September 17th you can see L7 in Washinton DC at The Black Cat and on September 18th at the legendary Grammercy Theatre in New York’s East Village.