Greg Sandow
July 15, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Hungry for Stink

Current Status
In Season
Slash, Warner Bros.

We gave it an A+

That crash you hear is the sound of stereotypes shattering. L7 is well known as the top all-female metal band, but its unconquerable new album, Hungry for Stink (Slash/Warner Bros.), vaults the group into a larger category: Now L7 is one of the top hard-rocking bands of any kind, gender be damned. Its three previous records, tracing the group’s rise from the Los Angeles rock underground, were forceful and bratty. Hungry for Stink is far more sophisticated, with a musical surprise on nearly every track-the mocking guitar on ”Andres,” for instance, or the vocal moan that somehow blends a shriek and a shiver on ”Questioning My Sanity.”

But what really sets Hungry for Stink apart is its power. Lots of bands can lay down massive riffs; few can match the skin-crawling, fourth-dimensional overdrive L7 kicks into on each chorus of ”Baggage.” Yes, the group still writes feminist lyrics, depicting women’s fear of rape in ”Can I Run” and celebrating a female auto racer in ”Shirley.” But after an album this strong, pigeonholing them simply as a ”women’s band” would be ridiculous. A+

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