Mean Streak
Declaration of War

1. Declaration of War
2. In For the Kill
3. Crimson Sky
4. The End of the Rainbow
5. As You Sow You Shall Reap
6. No Man’s Land
7. Brothers till the End
8. Sons of Metal
9. Sign in the Sky
10. History of Lies
11. The Oblation

Andy LaGuerin (vocals)
David Andersson (guitar)
Patrik Gardberg (guitar)
Peter Anderson (bass, vocals)
Jonas Kallsback (drums)

Metal Slave (2009)

Johan S Abrahamsson (churchorgan)
John Woolett (spoken word)

Produced by Peter Andersson
Mixed by Fredrik Nordström
Mastered by Plec

Released 28/1-2011
Reviewed 9/2-2011

black lodge

The first thing I came to think of when I received this album was that the band had a funny name. Then I am struck by all the clichés that are all around this album, in the look of the album and in the song titles, the album title and everything, it is all cliché. I am not a big fan of cliché, if it is not done in an ironic way kind of like Freedom Call for instance that is ironising over the clichés in heavy metal. Clichés and seriousness that comes all the way from Russia have I heard. Unfortunately I think Mean Streak are one of those bands inspired by the Russian seriousness that is ever present in the heavy metal genre.

Musically it is a bit of a blast from the past, with sounds that reminds of the old NWOBHM (if you are clueless, google) and also the more recent power metal wave with metallic riffs, three chord music, catchy choruses, and the fastish melodic melody lines that go around in the genre. Musically it is kind of typical, a bit of the eighties that returns in a slightly more modern way.

It is an album that has eleven tracks, it is mixed by the more or less legendary Fredrik Nordström, it takes slightly over forty minutes to listen through the entire thing and it is soundwise a bit of a mix between the eighties NWOBHM and more modern power metal wave of the late eighties but with a more modern sound which is somewhat cleaner but not as polished as many of today’s acts. There is however a slight problem with this however well it is made and that is the fact that it is very easy to be lost in this big horde of bands and albums that exist within this genre.

For Mean Streak with their cliché and to be honest, in style quite ordinary music, they would have needed to come up with something amazing to stand out in this overcrowded genre, and they did. Just kidding, they did not do that, unfortunately as I like much better to be salutive (new word there?) of a record or really dismissive but this is just something in between and it is no fun at all to write those reviews.

There is nothing whatsoever wrong with their music, the songs are catchy, the melodies are fine, lyrics are rubbish, it is just that we have heard it all before, millions of times. They do what they do well, but what they have done has been done many times before and some (enough) times better as well so this record will have very difficult to fly on own merit.

For this record to fly it would have needed at least one real smashing hit song, that song that etches it’s way into your memory the very second you hear it, the song that makes you want to revisit this album over and over and this album has nothing like that and there is nothing at all that catches you, makes you curious or whatever else you can think of, it is just there.

Talking of favourite songs that is a favourite pastime of mine (not really but I write a lot in reviews of such), there is none on this album, I cannot say that I can single out any song to be even better than any other. The only song I can single out is the ending one, The Oblation and that is because of it’s spoken word part which is quite funny, and also quite good and adds something to that song which it does not have musically, an epic feel for you who need explanation.

But in the end I can clearly say that mean streak does not declare war on mediocre music with this album, it is rather one of those album that you throw over your shoulder while you are walking towards new goals.


Label - Black Lodge/Sound Pollution
Tre liknande band - Iron Maiden/Helloween/Saxon
Recensent: Daniel Källmalm