Mean Streak – Blind FaithI have a new rule. Whenever Jonas Källsbäck drums on an album, it’s going to be good. Last month’s Night Flight Orchestra was fantastic. From what I’ve heard, Gathering of Kings will rock. And there’s this Mean Streak album, Blind Faith. Not to be confused with the 80s girl band Meanstreak, this version is a Swedish traditional metal band, ostensibly named after the Y&T album and song of the same name (which saw heavy rotation on my turntable back in 1984, in the form of K-Tel’s Masters of Metal album). How similar is this band to the ill-fated Y&T? Well, for one thing, Max Norman produces this album, and he produced Y&T’s early work — not Mean Streak, that was Chris Tsangarides, but still, it’s a connection, right? Are the Y&T/Night Flight Orchestra connections enough to make Blind Faith awesome?

It sure doesn’t seem so at first. “Blood Red Sky” is an unenthusiastic straightforward metal song. Sure, it’s uptempo, high-energy, but something’s missing. What is it? It’s the uninspired vocals, the way the lead breaks rip through the speakers, and the fact that it’s not a memorable song. Really, it’s not a good opening track. I’ll take Judas Priest’s cheesy epic of the same name, thank you very much — and that’s not a good song either. So after one track I’m regretting my decision to grab this.

The sour taste doesn’t last long, though. Mean Streak redeem themselves immediately when second track, “Animal in Me,” kicks in. Mid-paced with chunky riffing, a driving beat, and a just barely audible trilling synth patch, this is pure traditional metal at its best. And oddly, the lead breaks don’t tear your face off like on “Blood Red Sky.” The other key point of this song is something that’s prevalent throughout Blind Faith, and that’s Mean Streak’s penchant for big, catchy choruses. When you combine excellent musicianship with solid (yes, generic, but well-done generic) arrangements and earworm choruses, you’re left with an album you want to keep playing. It also helps that no song goes past the five minute mark. These guys stick to Songwriting 101 theory, making the songs that much more effective.

Mean Streak 2017

Aside from “Blood Red Sky,” there are no weak points on Blind Faith. The album as a whole is catchy as hell, and chock full of quality ingredients. Production (aside from the occasionally way too loud guitar solo) captures the essence of the band – and if you’re still not clear, that essence is traditional metal rooted in the 80s. I guess Max Norman is as good as anyone for getting that sound. After a rough start, Andy LeGuerin nails it on the mic the rest of the way, with passionate delivery that isn’t rooted in caricature (I’m looking at you, Sir Russell Allen) and the occasional blood-curdling wail to close out songs. Thomas Johanssen tears through the songs with aplomb, bombastic solos and tight rhythm work. And speaking of rhythm, the duo of Källsbäck and Peter Andersson anchor it all with power, never overdoing it.

Thus does Blind Faith fall in with some other feel-good retro albums, like Amber Galactic and the latest from Brother Firetribe: it’s pure dad-metal, but hey, a lot of us are dads, and we like metal, so this fits the bill. It’s nothing we haven’t heard before, but the sameness is welcome due to the quality Mean Streak brings to the table — thus a 3.0 rating and not higher. Olde guys such as myself can sit back in our reading chairs, puff wistfully on our pipes, and listen to Mean Streak while yearning for not only the golden age of metal, but also for our hair.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Rock of Angels Records/HighVolMusic
Websites: meanstreak.se | facebook.com/Mean-Streak
Release Dates: EU: 2017.06.02 | NA: 06.16.2017

Share →
  • GardensTale

    A hobo with a shotgun, Rob Halford, Danzig and Paul McCartney with a bullet belt walk into a bar…

    • VikingSchism

      I’m going to guess this doesn’t end with them saying ‘ow’

    • Nag Dammit

      The bartender turns around and says “What do you call a metal front man being forced to paint his porch? Dave Must-stain”

      • John Mosley

        Or the heavy metal frontman incestuous pedophile… Bruce Dick-in-son… Too much?

    • Nukenado

      They walked out due to not being able to afford a can of Kvelertak beer.

  • Brent Johnson

    Hey! I still have my hair.

    • For now….

      • Brent Johnson

        I’ll be 50 this year so i’m doing ok for now but hey, the tough bald guy is a thing.

        • rumour_control

          Still have the color and the hair. Alas, the hearing? Not so good.

          • Jeremy Freeman

            As you see in my picture i HAVE to shave mine..and that pic was when I was 35..I’m not almost 42 lol. Started losing it at around 27 or so. haha ;o)

          • rumour_control

            Yeah, but you look like a total metal bad ass, so rawk on, mang!

  • Pimpolho

    No Mean Streak is better than Deep Purple’s Mean Streak.

  • Thatguy

    Boring. And what’s with the dude in the pale jeans and pale top? Did they just rope him in to make up the numbers?

    This is music by numbers.

  • METAL OTTER

    This year’s best dad metal album was released by Battle Beast.

  • jetblindracos

    Lonely Side Of Town…

  • Bortman Begins

    My first thought from the band name was the AC/DC deep cut from their Blow Up Your Video album

  • CarvedInStone

    You guys are wasting your time with stuff like this when our lord and saviour Jorn Lande did release a new album last week?

    • Tofu muncher

      Yep. just goes on to show quality has gone out of the window for AMG…

      • Nag Dammit

        You know that steel has been lost in the Jorn-iverse, riding pillion behind a crow on a mortorbike over space rainbows. He’ll review when he gets back I’m sure.

        • Nope, it’s not getting a review. The label would only give us a stream so we skipped it.

          • Nag Dammit

            Wow. Seems a pretty stupid move by them.

          • Yeah, puzzling but so be it.

          • CarvedInStone

            Now that you mention it I remember Frontiers announced that they would stop to provide promotional downloads for journalists in early 2016. I totally forgot about that. Although I was under the impression that the leaks of Frontiers records album had more to do with the fact that their stuff is usually released in Japan ahead of the rest of the world and not with review copies being leaked. Either way it is a shame.

          • Yep, we’ve essentially embargoed all Frontiers releases from review. Streams don’t work for us.

          • Darren

            That means no review for the new Seventh Wonder when that finally comes out (and presumably why Circus Maximus’ Havoc was also skipped). Darn.

          • CarvedInStone

            I just assumed that Frontiers started giving out promotional downloads again since you guys did review the Jorn Cover album, DGM and Operation:Mindcrime. I suppose it can’t be helped then. No more Jorn worship on this site for as long as he stays with Frontiers. And I doubt that he’ll leave them any time soon since I can’t think of any other label that would give him as much freedom to do whatever he wants as Frontiers.

    • Tofu muncher

      I’ve been spinning it like crazy (>.<)m/

    • Nag Dammit

      Thanks for the heads up brother. I am expecting much crows wearing Jorns face on their t-shirts and other such metal-ness.

      • Nag Dammit

        Wow. Even I wasn’t expecting to see a crow on a motorbike riding over what looks like a hedgehog? I’m very confused right now.