Meanstreak was an all-female thrash band from Westchester, New York, that was active from 1985-1994. They were playing at legendary New York metal club L’Amour when Mercenary Records asked them to contribute the song “Lost Stranger” to their compilation album L’Amour Rocks. The favorable reaction that the track generated lead to Mercenary issuing Mean Streak’s one and only full-length album RoadKill.
Meanstreak is notable for several reasons; not only were they one of very few all-female acts in the world of thrash, but three of the ladies went on to marry members of progressive metal titans Dream Theater. Perhaps the band’s greatest contribution to metal though was their drummer Yael. She would go on to become a metal legend and one of the most respected female drummers in the world.
The band as a collective, however, would never find the level of success that they seemed poised for. Despite several opening slots on tour with Dream Theater, Meanstreak would never truly find their own voice. They did not transition into the changing musical landscape of the ’90s very smoothly. Their last hurrah would be in the form of a 1993 demo called “The Dark Gift” which was produced by guitarist Marlene Apuzzo’s husband Mike Portnoy, the drummer of Dream Theater. The demo saw the band attempting a radical shift towards grunge and ballads. It was not received well, alienating the band’s existing fan base and failing to generate any substantial new interest. Several band members continued on in music, with lead guitarist Rena Sands (Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci’s wife) joining Judas Priestess, the all-female Judas Priest tribute band, in 2013.
Nevertheless, Roadkill stands as a testament to the awesome thrash that Meanstreak will be remembered for. Here with the title track of their only full-length album is Meanstreak performing “Roadkill.”
[GoD Empress Eve’s two cents: I had the pleasure of seeing Meanstreak live many times in their early years, especially at the famed Brooklyn rock club L’amour, which left an impression on me not only as a metal fan, but as a young, female metal musician myself. At one show, they did a fantastic job of covering one of my favorite songs, Metallica’s “Ride The Lightning,” which completely blew me away. This was one of those bands I got to enjoy from the very start, and I wish they could have gone on to achieve the success they deserved.]