The 90’s punk rock pioneers L7 brought their legendary badassary to Elsewhere in Brooklyn for a pair of sold out shows in support of their first album in twenty years by the name of Scatter the Rats. This archetypal LA garage band had a principal role in kick starting the whole alternative rock revolution of the early 90’s and first ignited the genres like grunge and riot grrrl. They also empowered other female rockers to be unapologetically strong and commandingly aggressive at a time when that was all but unheard of in the mainstream rock world. They all but crushed the matriarchy of the 90’s post punk music world, but by the late in the decade they were losing members and by 2000 they were officially defunct. The only time I got to see them back in the day was at a cramped little venue in Seattle in 1991, but it left a huge impression on my young mind (not to mention a few moshing scars). However, I did get to see one of their first reunion performances at Warsaw in Brooklyn back in 2016, and since then I’ve tried never to miss an opportunity to rock out with them, especially as they have proven to me to be one of the most consistently killer rock shows I’ve seen still on the road today.
The show opened with the Mexican art punk band Le Butcherettes, and frontwoman Teri Gender Bender takes performance art to a whole new extreme with an expansive band producing a lush dance track to her exotic jive. They already have a few truly classic voyeuristic albums already under their outlandish belts, and yet they have just released their most intensely muscular and gorgeously dark epics yet with their new LP bi/MENTAL. There is a gut-wrenching quality to the new stuff, and Teri’s performance embodies every internal struggle in every tortured song, and she may very well be one of my favorite performers in the music world today.
L7 came out and played yet another non-stop set of killer songs blazed with more molten hot riffing and roaring “kiss my ass” ‘tudes you could ever hope for and far more than you’d ever deserve. The band is now back to the classic lineup of guitarists and vocalists Suzi Gardner and Donita Sparks, bassist Jennifer Finch, and drummer Demetra Plakas, and they all sound better than ever. The new material also held up with the classics, a feat which is certainly a rarity for a band returning to recording together after two decades of inactivity, but I emphatically contend that new tracks like “Stadium West” and “Fighting the Crave” rank up there with their all-time classics that were in the setlist like “Shove,” “Pretend We’re Dead,” and “Shitlist.” Don’t miss a chance to get your face melted by these true rock authorities next time they take your town over.
Article: Dean Keim