Offering no apology to a patriarchal society
L7 is a punk rock band from Los Angeles, California. They experienced the height of their success during the grunge era (late ’80s and early ’90s). Their last album was 20 years ago in 1999 and the band has been on hiatus since 2001, but they have now returned with Scatter The Rats.
L7, who is an all-female band, is selling something more than sex and teenage love that so many young girls gravitate towards with other female artists. L7 isn’t Taylor Swift or Ariana Grande. They are a role model for rebellion against the patriarchy. L7’s return is more than just another band trying to make a comeback — our political climate needs L7.
The opening track “Burn Baby” starts off with pure attitude. The lyrics discuss being called a fraud, a fake, and touches on society’s treatment of rebellious women in the past. “Stadium West” has the most to offer in terms of instrumental diversity and musical songwriting, with ’80s reverb drums reminiscent of Phil Collins, heavy fuzz guitars like the Smashing Pumpkins, and a discernible bass riff [2:05].
“Uppin The Ice” has a steady and catchy drum beat that grows in intensity as the song steadily chugs on. “Cool About Easy” brings an attitude of how nothing comes easily. “What’s so cool about easy? Wouldn’t know.” This track could easily be featured on some badass movie. The title track “Scatter The Rats” has a slow ride vibe to it. The fully saturated guitars stand out really well here. All the songs are aiming for a powerful blues vibe that is easy to get into. The guitar solos are musically tasteful and rebellious.
It may not sound like an album you would expect from 2019. L7 is playing catch-up in that regard. By their own admission, they call themselves a “meat and potatoes” band; musically, keeping it simple. L7 is back with a purpose. They are fighting the good fight and not letting a patriarchal society tell them what they can and cannot do. Sticking it to the man’ is bread and butter punk ethos. L7’s return is a symbolic rallying cry. But if L7 is to become a leader in this fight for equality, they will need to step their game up to compete with the pop culture icons. They aren’t 20 years old anymore, it would be amazing if they can assume that leadership role. It would be a waste of potential to squander their unique opportunity to use their platform to bring light to gender-based injustices. It will be exciting to see what they bring in the upcoming years.