L7 was formed in 1985 by guitarists/singers Suzi Gardner and Donita Sparks, who added bassist Jennifer Finch and drummer Dee Plakas before signing to Epitaph in 1988 for their self-titled debut. After a few years of touring, they released their Sub Pop debut Smell The Magic in 1991. Also that year, the band formed Rock For Choice, an influential organization promoting women's rights that still produces benefit shows and compilations to this day. L7 signed to Slash/Reprise for 1992's Butch Vig-produced Bricks Are Heavy, their best-known and most successful album. Hungry For Stink and a slot on the Lollapalooza tour followed in 1994. They released The Beauty Process: Triple Platinum in 1997 and 1998 saw the release of a pair of live projects: the album Live: Omaha To Osaka and the concert film The Beauty Process, directed by Krist Novoselic. However, 1999's Slap-Happy failed to crack the charts, and the group has since entered into "indefinite hiatus," with the members all going on to other projects.
L7 took their name from a '50's slang for "square," and you'd have to be square indeed not to love their potent mix of metal and punk, delivered with a hellcat's wail. The chudding, churning "Andres" and their catchy college radio hit "Pretend We're Dead" (based, legend has it, on a near miss concert accident) proved to the Seattle boy's club of grunge rock that the girls could do it too, y'all. And their formation of Rock For Choice proves that, unlike many rock stars, they aren't afraid to follow up their political espousing with in-your-face action.