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Why I love L7 – by Harriet Bevan

Black Moth's vocalist on the importance of the reunited LA grunge quartet

“She’s got so much clit she don’t need no balls.”- Fast and Frightening (Smell the Magic, 1990)

There are probably better L7 lyrics, granted. But this is the line that made me laugh my head off as a teenager, and gave me something to sneer at squirming boys ever since. It perfectly encapsulates why I love them so much, and have listened to them probably more than any other band since I discovered them. 

As a kid, I devoured the weekly music press. Those formative years where you really worship bands. Having no ‘cool older siblings,’ the rock mags were my bible and they taught me a lot. But while I was alerted to the merits of Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Tad and other grunge heroes, L7 were conspicuously absent from the feature pages. This still baffles me. The only reason I researched L7 further was because they kept on topping the 'most shocking/gross/gnarly moments in rock history' for the Reading Festival tampon-flinging incident or for Donita’s infamous butt naked TV performances. This endeared me to them, but I had no idea I was about to discover one of my favourite bands musically. What I found was a fearsomely badass grunge-punk rock-heavy metal band that I grew to love more than all the others put together. I started at the beginning. Smell the Magic landed on my stereo, and it didn’t leave it for weeks. I now have a signed vinyl copy framed on my wall. I know, unashamed fan girl. 

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