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L7 | Scatter the Rats

The grunge-rock foursome disappoint on their long-overdue comeback album.

There’s no point in starting something you can’t finish. Especially when you start it as aggressively as L7 kicked off their long-awaited comeback. Over the past couple of years, the grunge-rock foursome delivered two potent and promising singles: The Trump-thumping Dispatch From Mar-a-Lago and the self-explanatory I Came Back to Bitch. Trouble is, neither one shows up on Scatter the Rats, their first album in two decades. Even worse: Virtually none of the songs here are as good as those two. Granted, L7 were always kind of hit-and-miss — for every ferociously destructive cut like Shove or Shitlist, there were disappointingly commercial singles. But considering they’ve had years to work on these songs, the batting average should be higher. Muscular power-chord chuggers like Burn Baby, Fighting the Crave, Cool About Easy and Garbage Truck deliver the goods, but a few too many of the other tracks are just a little too sluggish, a little too drab, a little too one-dimensional, a little too complacent. So what should have been a napalm-filled Molotov cocktail ends up being a fizzling bottle rocket. The rats will not be moved. Nor you, most likely.

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