L7 - Pretend We’re Dead review
They did it their way
The kids owe L7 a lot, which elevates this Blu-ray documentary above the typical ‘rags to riches to rags’ story most rock-docs end up telling. Well, that’s what happened to L7 too, but there’s a cultural and political edge to this band that shouldn’t be diminished.
L7 were staunch feminists in a way that seemed almost effortless. It wasn’t – as Pretend We’re Dead ably demonstrates in 90s interview footage, no journalist ever let them forget they were an ‘all-girl’ band – but L7 just assumed they could rock as hard as the boys, and then they went and did it. And it was magnificent. These days it’s just assumed that you can transcend gender if you rock hard enough. And L7 are the reason. If you weren’t a fan of the band before watching this, you will be by the time it’s over.
As told mostly with smearybut-beautiful vintage footage and new voice-overs, the band leap from obscurity to fame and back with pluck and an infectious sense of adventure. Best of all, nobody even died. An ear got torn off at one point, but that’s pretty minor as far as rock careers go.