Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Forgotten Gems: Meanstreak-Roadkill

Mercenary Records / MFN

Meanstreak is New York thrash at it's finest. Formed in 1985 this all-female heavy metal band hit the scene when thrash was at the height of it's popularity and had they managed more than this one lone album before folding who knows what would have become of them. My first taste of female thrash came by way of Sweden's Ice Age. Or should I say all-female thrash as there have been tons of great women musicians in the field of hard rock and heavy metal. Ice Age though pushed things to the limit playing real thrash and in that regard Meanstreak have quite a bit in common with their Swedish counterparts. "Roadkill" is fairly typical of 80's power metal/thrash and without meaning to take credit away from these very talented ladies musically the album is a witness to the times. Influenced as much by Metallica, Anthrax, Metal Church, Slayer, Overkill, Flotsam And Jetsam and Megadeth as they were classic bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Motorhead these five ladies built upon the foundation that bands like Ice Age started. If we are speaking about influences then vocalist Bettina France had to have been influenced by (or at least been made from the DNA of) a certain singer by the name of Bobby Blitz. And that my friends is in no way a bad thing as the rest of the band does a fine job of backing Miss France up with gritty east cost thrash. These women had the chops all right and if the landscape hadn't changed so much (and if the group hadn't abandoned their thrash roots for more of a traditional rock sound) then maybe just maybe they might not have been so easily forgotten. It seems these days that the biggest claim to fame Meanstreak has is that three of their members (guitarists Marlene Apuzzo & Rena Sands and bassist Lisa Martens Pace) went on to marry members of Dream Theater. The fact that they ended up married to members of a progressive metal band (and these certain guys) overshadows the fact that Meanstreak played bare-bones, gritty and almost punk at times thrash with style all their own. "Roadkill" deserves more than just a small footnote in the book of heavy metal. My hope is that some of you out there will check out this overlooked band. If you do then your sure to be treated to some great heavy metal thrash from an era many of us miss to death. Just don't let the fact that this is an all-female band keep you from checking out "Roadkill". These ladies were not just another Vixen (not that there was anything wrong with Vixen mind you) but instead were a long-lost East Coast thrash band for those of us who love out music loud and with attitude!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home