L7

Bricks Are Heavy

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Though they hailed from sunny L.A., L7 became the poster girls for grunge in 1992, with the meteoric success of their third album, Bricks Are Heavy. While their previous efforts had sounded sloppy and uneven, Nevermind producer Butch Vig helped the girls obtain a tight, compact sound on Bricks, pushing them to focus on their songwriting to boot. After all, great albums need great songs, and that's exactly what you have here. Mosh-pit anthem "Everglade" (sung by bassist Jennifer Finch) will simply knock you on your ass, and big single "Pretend We're Dead" is so good that its tough swagger harks back to seminal bad girl anthems like Joan Jett's "I Love Rock'n'Roll," Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," and even the Go-Go's -- well, maybe not the Go-Go's. The sardonic "Diet Pill" tackles female compulsions with clever irony, and even when they let their mega-riffing take over on such full-throttle stomps as "Wargasm," "Mr. Integrity," and "Shitlist," L7 still manage to imbue their lyrics with humor and substance. Inevitably, a few songs (especially "Slide") tend to push the Nirvana envelope just a tad, but Vig's involvement aside, these four ladies had been doing this kind of thing for as long as the Seattle trio. L7's crowning achievement, Bricks Are Heavy sadly proved to be an impossible act to follow, and the band gradually faded into obscurity thereafter.

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