Music News

Critic's Choice

L7, Thursday, August 26, at the Bluebird Theater, recently shrunk to a trio when bassist Gail Greenwood left the band for geographical reasons (the band lives in L.A., Greenwood doesn't). No matter. It doesn't take a specialist to create the kind of raw and raunchy music these gals are famous for, and Janis Tanaka of San Francisco's Stone Fox has volunteered to fill in on the band's current tour. After releasing Smell the Magic in 1990, L7 broke the big time during the great Seattle-Sub Pop craze of the early Nineties. The band's newest release, Slap-Happy, finds its members traversing familiar territory, though fatter guitars and Donita Sparks's dramatic singing playfully emphasize a heavy-metal influence. Live, when guitar/vocalists Sparks and Suzi Gardner bust their aggro-power-pop tunes at full volume against the raucous pounding of drummer Dee Plakas, it's enough to make the Lilith Fair look like a quilting bee. -- Laura Bond