If ever we forget that life can be cruel and short, then the untimely death of hotshot guitarist Michelle Meldrum at the age of 39 due to a cystic growth on the brain provided a chilling reminder back in the spring of 2008.
Shortly before her passing, Michelle had finished writing Lifer, her band’s third studio album, and it was thanks to the love and respect of her bandmates – drumming legend Gene Hoglan among them – that the recordings have now been completed and released in tribute to her life and tireless devotion to heavy music.
In truth, Meldrum were always a meat’n’potatoes affair, eschewing notions of creative bravery in favour of thuggish Southern-fried riffs and hoarse, bloozy bellowing, but that never stopped them from being both an incendiary live band and a bunch of musicians with conviction carved into their calloused palms. Guitarist Laura Christine plays with fiery finesse throughout, Gene destroys as always and vocalist Michele Madden screams like she means every word. Lifer won’t change your world but it demands your respect.