The first L7 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.