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L7 - Hungry For Stink (Limited Red Vinyl Edition) ((Vinyl))
L7: Jennifer Finch, Suzi Gardner, Dee Plakas, Donita Sparks.
Additional personnel: Mick Collins, Dave McClelland (vocals); Roddy Bottum (keyboards).
Recorded at A&M Studios and The Clubhouse, Hollywood, California; Sound City, Van Nuys, California.
What has L7 learned from receiving 1992's Feminist Of The Year award? That women still have to fight to get beyond the opinions about them in their industries, and that if the fight is waged with a sense of humor then they've really won.
L7 fights their battles directly and indirectly by applying over-the-top cock rock phrasing to their deceptively simple songwriting. Take their homage to race car driver Shirley Muldowney. There's definitely an agenda here; it's time to take people seriously for their abilities and not let gender become the first adjective used when considering one's contributions.
"Shirley" builds around samples from "Heart Like A Wheel," the movie about Muldowney's life. On top of a glorious guitar riff, dialogue from the movie voices L7's message. When we hear someone ask Muldowney "What's a beautiful girl like you doin' racing cars in a place like this?," we want to cheer right along with L7 as Muldowney flatly replies, "winning." "Shirley" is a perfect slice of what these women are all about. Between the movie dialogue, the lyrics add the missing pieces. "How many times must you be told/There's nowhere that we won't go."
HUNGRY FOR STINK simmers in the same ideological juices as their previous albums and involvement in ROCK FOR CHOICE. These women have a sense of humor and can make great, socially conscious rock, without making their issues cumbersome. Balancing the staples of guitar-heavy rock with a less-is-more aesthetic, HUNGRY FOR STINK confirms why L7 is one of the best known and most respected rock bands of the era, feminist or not.
HUNGRY FOR STINK was L7's 1994 follow-up to their '92 breakthrough, BRICKS ARE HEAVY. The single from that album, "Pretend We're Dead," and its attendant video put L7 into the limelight alongside other guitar-heavy bands of the grunge movement. Like contemporaries Nirvana and Soundgarden, L7 mixed the sonic aggression of heavy metal with the attitude and punch of punk.
HUNGRY FOR STINK isn't better than its predecessor (BRICKS ARE HEAVY would prove to be the band's peak), but it still rocks mighty hard. In fact, the sound on this album is enough to lay anyone flat, with a granite wall of crunching guitars and the gutsy vocals of Donita Sparks and Suzi Gardner shredding up eardrums. So while this isn't the best place to start with this hard-rock quartet, it's essential listening for fans and will satisfy those looking for the grunge sound at its meanest.
- RSD Release Date: n/a
- Genre: Rock