L7: Pretend We’re Dead

If you grew up in the 90s and were in any way interested in rock music, you’ll know who L7 are.

Fierce in every way – aesthetically, verbally and, most importantly, musically – they exploded onto the scene as grunge was taking over the world. But the thing is, they weren’t really a grunge band at all.

This is punk metal, and few bands do it as well as these four brilliant women.

They split in 2001, having had enough of major label disappointments and the independent truth that is being permanently skint.

But in 2015, the social media-led groundswell for them to reunite saw the classic lineup of Donita Sparks, Suzi Gardner, Jennifer Finch and Dee Plakas get the show back on the road. A crowdfunded documentary made perfect sense, and L7: Pretend We’re Dead is finally available to stream on Amazon.

The film charts the band’s story from the very beginning – when they shared stages with metal bands and drag acts – all the way through to their 2015 reunion.

The four members of L7 come across as likeable and hilarious, meaning you’re rooting for them throughout this rollercoaster of a story.

Of course, the sweet spot of this tale is around 1992-1994 when landmark album Bricks Are Heavy saw them take on the world. But as the film reveals, there was never a point in their careers where the band walked away with more than $500 a month each.

And when follow-up Hungry For Stink (a fucking brilliant album, for the record) failed to expand their fanbase any further, the band were unceremoniously dropped from their major label deal and things went sharply downhill from there.

Like all good rock documentaries, this film expertly mixes the highs and the lows while explaining, to anyone who doesn’t know, why L7 are one of the most important bands to ever come out of America.

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