Review Summary: "Girls don't belong in metal! They don't know anything about thrashing!"
In the somewhat sexist world of metal music, female fronted bands are often immediately written off. Sure, there are a lot of bad female fronted bands and there aren't that many metal bands in this category to begin with, but this is an even bigger issue because the good bands are completely ignored due to the bad reputation. What's this, though? Meanstreak not only enter the world of metal, but thrash metal none the less, and they're not just female fronted. They're an all female thrash group. Now, I know what you're thinking, "Thrash is a man's game. How the hell are a bunch of chicks gonna match up against bands like Megadeth and Anthrax?"
Well, my misogynistic friend, the opening/title track of Meanstreak's first and only album "Roadkill" proves you wrong from the second it begins. With a fast and mean drum riff to start followed by the fast and furious guitar work shows off the very impressive talent of these ladies right off the bat. Then enters the vocal stylings of Bettina France, who delivers an impressively thrashy and angry yet still feminine voice that can honestly be compared to some of thrash's best.
While not every song on this album has the speed given in the title track, it continues to have deep and heavy riffs throughout almost the entire thing. "Snake Pit" is quite notable. Starting off with the classic "Snake Charmer" tune, it then explodes into a strong mid-tempo riff that will certainly get your head moving. The lyrics in this song have to deal with relationships, which may turn some people off, but the song still maintains the violence that we've seen from the band.
What follows is "Nostradamus" which is a great song that's weighed down by something that some may view as a minor annoyance. While the lyrics are cool and interesting and the whole band play their roles well, there's this skipping, whooshing sound that plays throughout it that becomes extremely bothersome if you're listening to this song with headphones on. I'm sure that some people can get used to it and look past it, but some may find it to be a nuisance. If you can look past it, then please give this song a listen because it has some awesome riffage and a pretty sweet solo.
Songs such as "Searching Forever" and "It Seems to Me" are more vocally driven and really show off how impressive France performs. Her voice shows fantastic prowess in delivering her own unique style of vocalizing. Her voice is organized and beautiful at times, and at others it can be raspy and really show her thrash abilities. Not to mention her high notes are absolutely fantastic.
I mentioned solos earlier, and they are certainly well done in this album. While they're not the longest, they show that guitarists Marlene Apuzzo and Rena Sands certainly have their technical abilities down. "Lost Stranger" is a great example of a track with a short but sweet solo. It has varying speeds and is overall very impressive.
"The Congregation" is the longest track on the album and rivals the title track when it comes to speed and raw energy. The riffs are simple yet furious, France's vocals are angry and relentless, and the drumming brings everything together. It all speeds up around two minutes in before slowing down for some real heavy riffage. 4 minutes in, the action stops for an ominous combination of bells, bass, and drums before exploding into another horrifying riff and a badass solo. This song is honestly 80's thrash at it's finest. "Roadkill" truly ends on the highest of highs and is an absolute must listen for any thrash-head.
"Roadkill" is an impressive and overlooked thrash album that any metalhead needs to try out. It remains heavy throughout and is perfectly timed at just over a half hour long. Also, just maybe it can even change the mind of some people who think that metal should be left to the men. Well, move over, boys, and make room for Meanstreak.