L7 - Pretend We’re Dead review

They did it their way

Cover art for L7 - Pretend We’re Dead

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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 softwareuiphraseguid=“bfccb238-f15a-43a0-93e6-437f18cdf628”>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.


Came from the sky like a 747. Classic Rock’s least-reputable byline-grabber since 2003. Several decades deep into the music industry. Got fired from an early incarnation of Anal C**t after one show. 30 years later, got fired from the New York Times after one week. Likes rock and hates everything else. Still believes in Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction, against all better judgment.