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March 2002L7

H.E.A.R. Honors L7

L7's (official site) heavy, punk-inflected, riff-oriented guitar grind -- a mix of the Ramones, Motorhead, and Joan Jett -- was what earned them a dedicated following of fans in the early '90s, not the fact that they were female. While the band is strongly feminist, they never let their rhetoric stand in the way of their roaring guitars. L7 always relies on the sheer sonic aggression of rock, not its lyrical power.

When the group was on Sub Pop early in the '90s, the band sounded punkier and more abrasive; signing to a major label didn't cause them to lose that aggression -- they just had a better production, courtesy of Butch Vig (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth). Featuring "Pretend We're Dead," 1992's Bricks Are Heavy was a major alternative hit; their second major-label album, the coarse Hungry for Stink, was released right before L7 toured with 1994's Lollapalooza. The acclaimed Beauty Process: Triple Platinum followed in 1997, and a year later the group issued Live -- Omaha to Osaka. 1999 saw the release of the L7 film documentary The Beauty Process, directed by former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic; a new studio LP, Slap-Happy, appeared later that same year. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide.

L7 a girl band after all of our hearts. On tour L7 members know the importance of protecting their most important musical instrument.... their ears.


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