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MEANSTREAK Blood Moon EP

By George Dionne, Podcaster
Thursday, March 7, 2024 @ 8:09 AM


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MEANSTREAK
Blood Moon
EP
Step Off Records
www.meanstreakofficial.com




For those out of the loop, MEANSTREAK was an all-female Thrash Metal band out of Rockland, NY, that formed in 1985. Their 1988 debut album Roadkill is considered by many to be one of the best in its genre. Due to the album's success, the band scored opening slots for such Metal heavyweights as OVERKILL, MANOWAR, ANTHRAX, and MOTORHEAD. Despite their initial accomplishments, MEANSTREAK disbanded in the early '90s.

Ironically, or maybe not ironically, in the years that followed, core members of MEANSTREAK, guitarist Rena (Sands) Petrucci, guitarist Marlene (Apuzzo) Portnoy, and bassist Martens (Pace) Myung each went on to marry members of the Progressive Metal act DREAM THEATER.

MEANSTREAK reunited in 2022, befittingly nicknaming themselves "The Real Housewives of Heavy Metal". The reunion saw original vocalist Bettina France returning and drummer Yael Rallis replacing Diane Keyser. MEANSTREAK went on to support John Petrucci on his last U.S. solo tour, which reunited him with drummer Mike Portnoy.

On February 2, 2024, MEANSTREAK released their latest EP Blood Moon through Step Off Records. Soft arpeggio guitar picking kicks off the opening track "The Dark Gift". Bettina France's vocals are hypnotic and sultry as the first verse is delivered, but then the music takes a dark and heavy turn. A wall of guitars and pounding drums take command of this haunting tale. France pumps up the intensity of her melodies as well.

While France is still a formidable presence on "Oh Father", you simply can't ignore the back-and-forth guitar work of Rena Petrucci and Marlene Portnoy. The ladies are more riff oriented here than lick oriented, but still deliver a couple of quick and noteworthy solos.

"Rubberneck" punches hard and fast like the early Thrash Metal days of MEANSTREAK. Martens Myung's thumping bass and Yael Rallis' thunderous drums are in perfect sync here. The gang style chorus adds that little extra bit of intensity. "Giant Speaks" flows like an '80s Thrash Metal classic with its driving guitars, intense vocals, fiery solos and shifting tempos.

I missed MEANSTREAK's debut album Road Kill the first time around, so I went back to compare it to Blood Moon. It is clear on Blood Moon that MEANSTREAK have not missed a beat in the nearly 30 years they have been dormant. Blood Moon rocks just as hard and ferocious as 1988's Road Kill, but with far better production and sound quality. Hopefully Blood Moon is a taste of what's to come and not just a one-off, because once you listen to it, you'll be craving for more.

4.0 Out Of 5.0


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