Detroit, MI (July 24, 2018) –  This was no ordinary Tuesday night in Detroit, as punk/grunge fans lined up around the block at Saint Andrews Hall. After a 15 year hiatus, the women of L7 are back with a vengeance to support the release of their two new singles “Dispatch from Mar-a-Lago and “I Came Back to B*tch“, their first new tracks in 18 years. A powerful, socially aware opening set from Detroit’s own W.O.M.B.(War On Man Babies), set the tone for the evening with some scathing commentary on our current times.

W.O.M.B. – © Splice Magazine – Kate Sumbler. Please do not alter images.

A self-described socio-political intersectional feminist hardcore band from southeast MI, W.O.M.B.(War On Man Babies) hit the stage with tight rhythm provided by drummer Matthew and Mike on bass. Screaming with the passion of a woman living in our current political climate, Lainie delivered songs like “Reverse Racism Isn’t Real”, “Out Them All”, “F*ck The Christian Right” and “Deadname”. With Cale and Jhon trading riffs on guitar, the band pulled out all the stops and gave their local fans exactly what they came for, a mix of rage, fury and hardcore punk music. Be sure to head out to their next gig, (July 27th at The Loving Touch in Ferndale MI), this band has a voice that needs to be heard!

L7 – © Splice Magazine – Kate Sumbler. Please do not alter images.

Between sets, the PA pumped out a variety of punk and indie classics that kept the crowd buzzing, then the sounds of Prince’s “Pussy Control” rang out and L7 took the stage. Opening with “Deathwish” from their 1990 release Smell the Magic, it was clear that age had not mellowed these ladies one bit. The band pounded through tunes including “Everglade”, “Off The Wagon” and “Crackpot Baby”, with guitarist Donita Sparks, barefoot bassist Jennifer Finch and guitarist Suzi Gardner trading vocals throughout the night. Drummer Dee Plakas has had to sit out this tour after breaking her arm, so the band has had several guest drummers on the European leg of their tour. To fill in tonight, the band recruited Mel McFail to hit the skins and she proved her mettle thrashing out and never missing a beat.  

L7 – © Splice Magazine – Kate Sumbler. Please do not alter images.

L7 sounds as raucous, off the wall and reckless as ever, and their new track “Dispatch from Mar-a-Lagocontains a good dose of their iconic mix of black humor backed by punk rock with visions of riots at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago country club, the lyrics telling of Trump tweeting his “S.O.S. from a golden throne”. “I Came Back to B*tch offers a sing-along-chorus that was well received by the crowd tonight. The set wrapped up with an encore featuring a song Sparks described as “old school Southern California hardcore”, a smashing cover of the early ‘80s Agent Orange classic “Bloodstains”, followed by their own 1992 breakthrough “Pretend We’re Dead”, the band’s highest charting single to date and also the title of the 2016 documentary film about the band. L7 gave us one more tune, “Shitlist” off Bricks Are Heavy, before ending the night with Finch snapping photos of the crowd, then turning their backs to the fans to include the whole venue in a band-selfie. It was a fun end to an exhilarating set of heavy tunes, scorching vocals and wailing guitars in true L7 fashion.

L7 – © Splice Magazine – Kate Sumbler. Please do not alter images.

This leg of their tour moves on to the land of the maple leaf, with shows in Toronto and Montreal this weekend. I strongly urge you to sell your shirt, do odds jobs, scrounge for couch-change, whatever it takes to score a ticket and check out L7, because they’re back, and they’re back to b*tch!

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Author: Kate Sumbler

Senior Photojournalist — Portfolio

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