Pre­tend We’re Dead

Classic Rock - - THE HARD STUFF BOOK & CD'S -

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.


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