L7: Pretend We're Dead

by Pete Crigler

l7_pretendweredead_400If you’re not familiar with L7, then watch this film and you will be. Four rockin’ badasses from Los Angeles formed the ultimate female alternative rock band and took the ‘90s alt rock underground by storm. Hell, 1992’s Bricks Are Heavy spawned three of the most memorable songs from the alternative rock explosion: “Pretend We’re Dead,” “Wargasm,” and “Shitlist.”

This documentary is a bit different from most other rock docs; you never see the ladies of L7 on camera, only in voice-overs. But through scattered praise from fans including members of Garbage, Distillers, Bratmobile, and others, it is highlighted just how important L7 has been over the years.

Chock full of personal home videos, this release documents the good and bad of their career, from early shows at clubs like Raji’s to signing a less than stellar deal with Slash Records to performing for a dismal crowd at the Reading Festival and frontwoman Donita Sparks unleashing her tampon on the crowd. It’s all here to view and recoil from in horror. Let’s not forget, this is also the same woman who dropped her pants on live British television and showed everyone everything. This is definitely a band that took no shit from anyone, and everything is here to be witnessed in its full glory.

Things start to get a bit melancholic towards the end, featuring the band’s bad record deals, bassist Jennifer Finch leaving, and their roadie dying on the tour bus, all leading to a very dismal 2001 breakup. Fortunately, the band has reunited and has returned to the road to kick more ass.

Pretend We’re Dead is a very good document of a fantastic band and an amazing time in the history of alternative rock.

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