Meanstreak

Roadkill

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    9
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Meanstreak's lone long-player, 1988's Roadkill, quickly became lost in the late-'80s thrash metal shuffle due to the limited resources of independent label Mercenary, but, unlike many of the era's originality deprived and often tuneless contemporary efforts, the bulk of its songs exuded an impressive melodic range and dynamic diversity. These may not have matched (or even threatened) the creative mastery attained by genre superpowers like Metallica, Anthrax, and Testament, but Roadkill standouts like "Searching Forever," "It Seems to Me," and the title cut definitely benefited from Meanstreak's exceedingly competent and well-balanced blend of thrash, speed, and power metal. Even the nursery rhyme-centered "Snake Pit" quickly branched out into more challenging and inventive riff sequences, and the band seemed as comfortable tackling short-and-sweet head-bangers like "The Warning" and the N.W.O.B.H.M.-styled "Lost Stranger" as they did exercising their chops on the surprisingly technical mini-epic "The Congregation." (Tellingly, the lyrically clich├ęd "Nostradamus" also managed to say in four minutes what Judas Priest would waste two hours on, twenty years later.) Oh yeah, and did we mention that Meanstreak were one of thrash's rare, all-female ensembles? There's a good reason for that omission, since the girls were truly just as qualified as most all of their overwhelmingly male competition, actually faring way better where tasteful guitar work and especially vocal talent were concerned, thanks to the very capable Bettina France. In retrospect, one can only imagine what may have been if Meanstreak had only received some measure of promotional support, because their promise on Roadkill was impossible to ignore.