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Meanstreak was a thrash metal band who released one and only one full-length album in the late 80's then a demo in 1989 and another one in 1992. Forgive me if I don't know much about the back story, but it can't see any good reason for a band with such a strong debut album quitting the scene. The same fate hit another great thrash metal band known as Morbid Saint. Both band released masterpieces as their debut album in 1988 and disappeared just as them came. Morbid Saint's Spectrum of Death seems to get all the recognition it deserves. It is praised as one of the best thrash metal albums ever released by quite a few metalheads. Meanstreak's Roadkill kind of stayed of the radars a lot. These girls get a little attention every once in a while because of the relationships between some of the musicians of the band with musicians from Dream Theater and also because it's an all female band. These little trivialities seem to shadow the actual work put on the record. First of, Dream Theater doesn't have anything to do with this record and should therefore never be mentioned when discussing the actual musical content. Second of, the fact that this is an all-women band should in no way affect the listener's perception of the music because these women proves with their musicianship and quality song-writing that they don't rely on sexual factors to be successful. Forming the band with just women in the line-up doesn't feel like a commercial move as what you would find with bands like Kittie.
These trivilialities aside, we can now jump into the music itself. This album is absolutely insane! It's not just great, it's an underrated classic. Which just brings back the same question in my mind : "Why did Morbid Saint stood out so much and not Meanstreak ?" Well, like I said before the fun facts about the band may have shadowed the actual work. The title track kicks in with a solid drumline and tight as fuck guitar riff. Bettina France's vocals set the tone after just a few seconds of what is to come with this record. As the second riff kicks in, the powerful vocals, strong thrash metal guitars, dirty low bass and heavy drums are leading this record 120mph toward a successful record.
The other tracks all follow-up perfectly from there, and with enough uniqueness and creativity in every single one of them to keep the listener interested throughout the whole album. Searching Forever for example is slower-paced track that comes in right after Roadkill. Less focus on the guitars here... they play a cool rhythm riff to support the vocals. Which is great, really. Bettina France's vocals are powerful and do not need much support to shine. Having variety in which musician takes the front of the stage throughout the album makes the album Roadkill even more of a great album.
With the exception of Snake Pit, which I think is the weakest track on the album, the tracks are all memorable enough for me to consider this album a thrash metal classic. Nostradamus, It Seems to Me and the sublime Lost Stranger all have enough hooks, great vocals, great lead and rhythm guitars leading you through hard hitting and well written choruses and verses. The drums keep punching right at the perfect places, bringing great support to the whole album especially during the chorus of It Seems to Me :
"Lost inside - lost inside your mind
When you find yourself you're a million miles away
Lost inside - lost inside your mind
After all these years you know there’s nothing left to say"
The highest point of the album comes with Lost Stranger. A fast-paced and quite short track that pretty makes the listener realise by then that he or she has just found a forgotten gem.
Falling a little short under 35 minutes in length, this album is a little too short. Especially with such aggressive, well-produced, well-written and so fucking well-performed trash metal effort, you are just left there craving for more. Roadkill is the kind of album that makes you want to take out all of your old-school thrash metal and hard rock records and go back in the 70's and the 80's. Meanstreak's girls managed to retain both the great elements of late 70's hard rock and make them fit in with old-school thrash metal riffs. As thrash metal legends Metallica were releasing ...and Justice for All, and Megadeth, So Far, So Good...So What! this little piece of work know as Roadkill went pretty much unnoticed. It sure didn't help that the band only released one full-length album. But it is now time to spread the word so forgotten old-school metal classics can be rediscovered by younger metalheads.