THEN: Sub Pop of 1990 was a very male led and largely Seattle based affair. That L7 were made up of four girls from Los Angeles is a good marker of the uncompromising nature of this band and their debut album Smell the Magic. The quartet who were definitely more Riot Grrrl than Girl Power, earned notoriety on these shores by dropping their trousers live on The Word or going one step further at the Reading Festival by throwing a used tampon into the crowd, along with the challenge "Eat my dead uterus!"
NOW: Sound charming don't they? But such 'fuck-you' antics were very much part of the appeal of the music coming out of Sub Pop at the time. Like a reincarnation of the Punk explosion that inspired many groups in the scene, it wasn't necessarily the music that mattered most - some distorted barchords and single fingered solos would work just fine - as long as it all came with plenty of anger and attitude. Released in a year when the eyes of the alternative world were all fixed on Sub Pop, Smell The Magic can make legitimate claim to being the archetypal 'Grunge' record, with album opener Shove as anthemic as any Touch Me I'm Sick or Teen Spirit. "My neighbours say I jam too loud. SHOVE! America thinks I should be proud. HUH!"
SUB POP SAYS: “L7 are a primal rock machine.”
KILLER TRACKS: Shove. Fast And Frightening
NEXT: 1991 - Mudhoney - Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge