Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review #52: L7 - L7 (1988)


Year: 1988
Punk Rock, Heavy Metal
Hardcore, Grunge
Epitaph Records
31 Minutes (Medium-Length)
My Rating:

L7 was a punk rock band from Los Angeles, California that formed in 1985. The band's original lineup was Donita Sparks, Suzi Gardner, Jennifer Finch, and Roy Koutsky. Well, before you know it, the band started playin' shows and eventually Roy Koutsky left and was replaced by Dee Plakas, making them an all-girl band, and one of the first notable all-girl hardcore punk bands. The band later became famous in the alternative rock explosion of the early 1990s. This was their first record, and it was published on Epitaph Records.

1. Bite the Wax Tadpole
Begins with thumping bass-drums and descending chords which then shift to a more exciting riff. The title is taken from the supposed Chinese literal translation of "Coca-Cola". Pretty funny, eh? Mainly the repeated phrases "bite the wax tadpole" and "hide the hole in your head" for lyrics.

2. Cat-O'-Nine-Tails
The "Cat O' Nine Tails" is a kind of whip with various (about nine) ends, often used for severe punishment. The song has a similar tempo to the first song. The lyrics seem to be about a relationship or something like that.

3. Metal Stampede
The obligatory very-fast-song. Starts slow with the phrase "It's a Metal Stampede" repeated twice, while weird cow-noises are made with the guitar. Suddenly, the song goes into a very fast while Donita screams. In the second verse section, she starts singing the lyrics to "Old MacDonald Had a Farm". Another fast chorus after that.

4. Let's Rock Tonight This is a slower song. It's about... rocking, I guess. I like the riff. There's a solo at the end.

5. Uncle Bob
Another slow song. It's got a bit more distortion in the riff than the previous song. It's about Uncle Bob, a family drunk that would come into their (whoever's house it was) house and cause trouble. The majority of the song is a shit-load of guitar noise following the sung verses. End of Side 1.

6. Snake Handler
Slow song. The lyrics are vaguely sexual. Can't tell if they're singing about dicks or actual snakes in that case. Maybe I don't wanna know. Sort of hypnotizing music (like a snake charmer or somethin'). I think Suzi Gardner sings this one.

7. Runnin' From the Law A fast, hard rock n' roll song with great lyrics. It's about a time that the group accidentally pissed off their neighbors from playing their music too loud on a Friday night. The second verse tells about a show they played when a cop got on stage and attacked one of the members, which resulted in her "kicking him in the balls".

8. Cool Out
As the title suggests, this is a more mellow song. Starts soft and quiet in the first verse, and the rest of the song is a tad harder. It's an anti-violence anthem about a psycho who likes to go pick fights and "messes with other peoples' lives".

9. It's Not You I love the riff for this one. It's a break-up song about the song's protagonist meeting a better man who can "fix up her blender" and "don't give a hoot".

10. I Drink
I love the beat for this one, in the verses and the choruses. It's about a girl who gets drunk all of the time. My favorite line is "I puked outside in the parking lot when he tried to kiss me". I thought that was funny.

11. Ms. 45
The hard-rockin' konkloozhunn to the album. It's about a street-girl that nobody dares to mess around with, or else "she'll blow your ass away". The verses are sung very harshly by Donita, and the choruses are sung softly by Suzi. dsfsgfd

So, that's the first record from L7! It's a little punk, a little metal, but totally rock. Most of the album sings about life in L.A. and stuff like that, and some of it is just nonsense like "Metal Stampede". They hadn't quite reached their peak (in my opinion) at this point, but they were already well on their way. The band delivers quite a snarl here for a bunch of girls, far more badass than most of today's male-made music could dream of (I will destroy all radios within a 30-mile radius if I have to hear "Fireflies" by the awful electro-pop band, Owl City, one more fucking time). Some of it's fast, some of it's slow. It's somewhat heavy, which causes some people to lump it in with grunge music. Anyways, if you like L7 or L.A. punk, give this one a spin.

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