Why is 7 Year Bitch’s Viva Zapata! on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
An exquisitely executed dose of grungy riot grrl punk rock.
Some stats & info about 7 Year Bitch – Viva Zapata!
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Seattle Bands, Riot Grrl, Punk Rock, Alternative Rock, Punk Revival, Grunge
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Viva Zapata! released? 1993
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #694 out of 1,000
7 Year Bitch’s Viva Zapata! on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does 7 Year Bitch’s Viva Zapata! mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
I first heard about 7 Year Bitch in the late 1990s by way of seeing a documentary called Hype!, which was about the grunge movement and, in a larger sense, how trends are discovered and exploited in American culture. The documentary soundtrack is amazing (spoiler: look out for that one on this here best 1,000 albums ever project), and of course the band name 7 Year Bitch screams out as something to be checked out.
The 7 Year Bitch song on the Hype! soundtrack is called “Knot,” and it’s incredible. Driving dirty grungy punk with strikingly original vocals from Seline Vigil and huge, chunky guitar riffs.
“The Scratch,” off Viva Zapata! quickly became my favorite 7 Year Bitch song and indeed I still listen to it often these days. It’s an absolute gem of a punk song: loud and angry and fast yet fully in control, focused, exquisitely executed punk rock.
I love that “Damn Good and Well” is the polar opposite of “The Scratch,” languid and melodic but with a nice rising emotion and energy toward the end. As side note: the guitar tone on this album is simply fantastic.
“Kiss My Ass Goodbye” sounds a little like a riot grrl slant on a Rollins Band song*. And in fact, I might choose this song over any Rolling Band song produced to date.
* And by Rollins Band I mean specifically the album Get Some Go Again, which in my view is by far their best album.
Pop culture stuff that has something to do with 7 Year Bitch’s Viva Zapata!
The album’s title is in tribute to The Gits‘ vocalist, and friend of the group, Mia Zapata, who was raped and strangled to death in July 1993. Some of the songs on this album relate to Zapata’s murder directly (such as “M.I.A.”, which encourages vigilante justice for her killer) as well as Sargent’s death by drug overdose (“Rock A Bye”).