Note: This review originally appeared in the Illinois Entertainer in 1997.
The Beauty Process finds L7 carrying on its mission to meld hard rock and strong melodies in the absence of longtime bass player Jennifer Finch. Founding members Donita Sparks and Suzi Gardner take turns playing bass along with their friend Greta Brinkman. (Gail Greenwood, formerly with Belly, has since joined the fold.) The album maintains L7’s trademark swagger even if the pissed-at-the-world attitude is a bit too well-rehearsed at times.
The title track and “Lorenza, Giada, Allesandra” offer repetitious, minimal lyrics over a generic heavy metal beat, and the overly cute “Me, Myself, & I” is just as grating. Still, the rest of the CD is rock solid. Hard-hitting songs like “Drama,” “I Need,” and “Bad Things” are the meat and potatoes of L7’s successful formula. The psychedelic “Non-Existent Patricia” and “Moonshine,” which features haunting lyrics and twangy guitars are even more impressive, while the catchy “Off The Wagon” revels in the irresponsible fun of an endless night of drinking.