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The Story Behind L7's Pretend We're Dead

L7’s 1992 hit Pretend We're Dead led to a UK TV ban and a piece of tampon-related ‘performance art’ at the Reading Festival – now they're back and “feistier than ever"

Named after the 1950s slang word for ‘square’, L7 were anything but dullards. Sporting flannel shirts, rainbow-coloured hair and combat boots, they looked suitably outlandish, and guitarist/frontwoman Donita Sparks was prone to Kurt Cobain/loose cannon-style high jinks (more of which later).

L7 were labelmates of Nirvana on both Sup Pop and the Warner Bros subsidiary Slash, who hooked them up with Butch Vig of Nevermind fame for their third album, Bricks Are Heavy, in 1992.

Because of those connections, a politicised, confrontational mindset and a sound heavily indebted to punk rock and hardcore, L7 got lumped in with the grunge movement (which they actually pre-dated), despite hailing from sun-kissed California and not rainy old Seattle.

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