The first album in 20 years, Scatter the Rats embodies everything that made the band so iconic in the first place – the distortion-heavy riffs and headbanging rhythms, sludgy grooves and indelible melodies. And in their lyrics, L7 achieve a direct transmission of raw feeling, often spiked with biting commentary on the chaos of the world today.
“Burn Baby” opens the album with a galvanizing reflection on letting go of old grudges for the sake of fighting a greater evil, while “Fighting the Crave” offers a slice of life on the inner push and pull of whatever one might crave. Throughout the album, L7 also examine depression (Sparks’s “Holding Pattern,” which matches its delicate melody with a disarming vulnerability), lonely hearts (Suzi Gardner’s gloriously swampy “Murky Water Café”) and codependency (the unhinged “Garbage Truck,” written by Jennifer Finch). And on “Uppin’ the Ice,” the band delivers a dance-worthy track inspired by a bit of advice Demetra Plakas got from her doctor upon breaking her arm before the band headed into the studio. “I took the idea of upping the ice as a metaphor for throwing down and doing what you have to do to make something happen, naysayers be damned, because that’s who we are as a band,” says Sparks.
• Producer Norm Block (Jenny Lee, Paper Cranes, Plexi)
• Producer Nick Launay (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
Formed in 1985, L7 first began as a collaboration between Sparks and Gardner. “We were from the art-punk scene but we were making a rather Flinstones version of metal,” says Sparks. “Not heavy metal but more like scrap metal – grab a pile of scrap and we’ll make something out of it.” Later adding Finch and Plakas to the lineup, L7 released their self-titled debut in 1988, followed by 1990’s Smell the Magic and 1992’s Bricks Are Heavy, a Billboard 200 hit whose lead single “Pretend We’re Dead” reached the top 10 on the Alternative Songs chart. In the meantime, L7 founded Rock for Choice and organized the abortion-rights nonprofit’s inaugural, history-making concert (a 1991 event also featuring and ). With Hungry for Stink arriving in 1994, the band joined that summer’s Lollapalooza tour, later releasing 1997’s The Beauty Process: Triple Platinum and 1999’s Slap-Happy.
Announcing an indefinite hiatus in 2001, L7 returned for extensive touring in 2015, then put out a pair of back-to-back singles: 2017’s “Dispatch from Mar-a-Lago” and 2018’s “I Came Back to Bitch.” In addition, 2016 saw the release of Pretend We’re Dead, a feature-length documentary on L7 directed by Sarah Price.
Having toured the world to massive sold-out crowds, L7 are now augmenting their live set with their tonally eclectic new material. “Some of it’s dark, some of it’s funny, some of it’s ‘f*ck you,’ but you can rock to all of it,” Plakas says of Scatter the Rats, available May 3rd on ’s.
“I think it’s good for people to enjoy a meat-and-potatoes rock band for a change,” says Sparks. “We’re not rocket science, we’re rock & roll. And there’s value to that, and we do it pretty well. So if you want to rock, come on back to L7.”
For all interviews and publicity requests, please contact: