Bricks Are Heavy

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Bricks Are Heavy
L7 bricks are heavy.jpg
Studio album by L7
Released April 14, 1992
Recorded 1991 & 1992 at Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin and Sound City in Van Nuys, California
Genre Grunge, metal
Length 37:28
Label Slash
L7 chronology
Smell the Magic
Bricks Are Heavy
Hungry for Stink
Singles from Bricks Are Heavy
  1. "Pretend We're Dead"
    Released: 1992
  2. "Everglade"
    Released: 1992
  3. "Monster"
    Released: 1992

Bricks Are Heavy is the third album by the American rock band L7, released in April 1992 by Slash Records. Backed by the single "Pretend We're Dead", the album became a breakthrough hit and the band became the "poster girls" of grunge music.[citation needed]

The album was released shortly after grunge had broken into the mainstream with the surprise success of Nirvana's Nevermind. In July 1992, the song "Pretend We're Dead" gained popularity among American rock radio stations, where it received regular airplay. By late August, the album had reached No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers album chart, and two weeks later it peaked at No. 160 on the Billboard 200.

Musically the album is heavier and dirtier than the band's previous recordings and described as "catchy tunes and mean vocals on top of ugly guitars and a quick-but-thick bottom of cast-iron grunge" by Entertainment Weekly.[1] While the band retained its punk and hardcore punk roots, there was more emphasis on heavy metal than before.[citation needed] It was produced by Butch Vig, who is renowned for his work with bands such as Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth and, later, Garbage.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Christgau's Consumer Guide A[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly A[1]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[5]
MusicHound Rock 4.5/5[6]
Q 3/5 stars[7]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[9]
Spin Alternative Record Guide 9/10[10]

In a contemporary review for Playboy, Robert Christgau regarded Bricks Are Heavy as an "object lesson in how to advance your music by meeting the marketplace halfway", though he believed it would not sell as much as it deserved. He said Vig helped L7 produce grunge-metal featuring "intense admixtures of ditty and power chord" that "never quite gathers Nirvana's momentum, but it's just as catchy and a touch nastier."[11] Greg Kot was less enthusiastic in the Chicago Tribune, writing that there were not many good songs such as "Slide" and "the performances-while certainly ferocious-aren`t sufficiently varied enough to make up the difference."[12]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Wargasm" Donita Sparks 2:40
2. "Scrap" Sparks, Brett Gurewitz 2:53
3. "Pretend We're Dead" Sparks 3:53
4. "Diet Pill" Sparks 4:21
5. "Everglade" Jennifer Finch, Daniel Ray 3:18
6. "Slide" Suzi Gardner, Sparks 3:37
7. "One More Thing" Finch 4:07
8. "Mr. Integrity" Sparks 4:06
9. "Monster" Gardner 2:56
10. "Shitlist" Sparks 2:55
11. "This Ain't Pleasure" Gardner, Caivano 2:42
Total length: 37:28


Additional musician
  • Paul Ryan - bongos
  • Butch Vig - producer, engineer, mixing
  • Howie Weinberg - mastering
  • Steve Marker - engineer
  • Mr. Colson - engineer
  • Elizabeth Hale - art direction
  • Jeff Price - art direction
  • Randall Martin - artwork
  • Vicki Berndt - photography
  • Arlan E. Helm - photography
  • Damion Romero - photography

Chart positions[edit]

Other success[edit]

The song "Pretend We're Dead" was used in the video games Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Rock Band 2. It was also used in the US trailer for the movie Shaun of the Dead.

The song "Shitlist" was used in both the 1992 sequel Pet Sematary Two and Oliver Stone's 1994 film Natural Born Killers and its soundtrack. The song is or was used by professional wrestlers Jon Moxley, who is currently signed as Dean Ambrose in WWE, during his runs in CZW, and Brian Pillman in ECW. CM Punk, now under contract with UFC, used the song as his entrance theme while on the independent circuit.

The song was used in the opening credits of an episode of the television series Beverly Hills 90210.


  • Rolling Stone: "The Essential Recordings of the 1990s"
  • The Village Voice: "Pazz & Jop 1992 Critics Poll: Albums" – No. 32
  • The Village Voice: "Pazz & Jop 1992 Critics Poll: Singles" – No. 11 ("Pretend We're Dead")
  • The Village Voice: "Pazz & Jop 1992: Dean's List" - No. 4


  1. ^ a b Arnold, Gina (June 19, 1992). "Bricks Are Heavy Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 9, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Bricks Are Heavy - L7". Allmusic. Retrieved March 17, 2010. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "L7: Bricks Are Heavy". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan. p. 185. ISBN 0-312-24560-2. Retrieved 2017-02-05. 
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "L7". Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0857125958. 
  5. ^ Gold, Jonathan (May 3, 1992). "L7, 'Bricks Are Heavy', Slash". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 5, 2017. 
  6. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel, eds. (1999). "L7". MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide (2nd ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. ISBN 1-57859-061-2. 
  7. ^ Anon. (April 1992). "Review". Q. p. 76. 
  8. ^ Berger, Arion (September 17, 1992). "L7: Bricks Are Heavy : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone: 94. Archived from the original on November 12, 2007. Retrieved May 9, 2013. 
  9. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). "L7". The Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). p. 500. ISBN 0743201698. 
  10. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). "L7". Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8. 
  11. ^ Christgau, Robert (June 1992). "L7, Roches, Yo Yo, Rosie Flores". Playboy. Retrieved February 5, 2017. 
  12. ^ Kot, Greg (May 7, 1992). "Bricks are Heavy (Slash)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 5, 2017. 
  13. ^ [1], UK charts page for Bricks Are Heavy by L7
  14. ^ "L7 - Bricks Are Heavy". Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  15. ^ "Bricks Are Heavy charts [albums]". Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  16. ^ "L7 Discography". Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  17. ^ "L7". Retrieved 2009-01-31.