grrlls

L7 “Smell the Magic” 1990. Sub Pop Records. L7′s second release, this is the 12″ 6-song EP original release; it was re-released in ‘91 on CD adding three more tracks. Why haven’t I listened to this lately??!! I was heavy into L7 in the 90′s, its riot-grrll awesomeness, but didn’t get a chance to see them live until 1999 at the Globe in Milwaukee when they toured to promote “Slap Happy.” I reviewed that show for the Shepherd Express, remarking at the snarl and venom-fueled attack of their performance, the audience responding by morphing into a sea of thrashing bodies filled with sweaty adoration.

This EP is brilliant, angry but angry in a way that makes the listener feel gloriously alive. “Shove” is majestically, anthemically amazing and rips everyone and everything in its way to shreds. (“Get out of my way or I might shove. Get out of my way or I’m gonna shove”). “Fast and Frightening” is female power at its dirtiest, nastiness, finest:

Her glance hits me like lightning
I heard that girl is fast and frightening
Dirty hair and a laugh that’s mean
Her neighbors call her an evil machine
She’s fast, she’s lean
She’s frightening
She’s fast, she’s lean
She’s frightening
Popping wheelies on her motorbike
Straight girls wish they were dykes
She’ll do anything on a dare
Mom and Daddy’s worst nightmare
Down at the creek smoking pot
She eats the roach so she don’t get caught
Throws her mini off in the halls
Got so much c*** she don’t need no balls

Run-off groove etchings: Side A - “Rock show tonight - big butts live on stage” Side B - “Smell It Sniff It Smell It” and “Swappin’ fluids across the nation”