BPMD - American Made

June 16, 2020, a month ago

(Napalm)

Nick Balazs

Rating: 8.5

review heavy metal hard rock bpmd

BPMD - American Made

The opening to “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” is an indication of what’s to find on American Made, the debut from this super-duper group of well-known metal stars. Overkill singer Bobby Blitz, drummer of a million groups, but most notably from Dream Theater Mike Portnoy, former Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel, and Metal Allegiance bassist Mark Menghi deliver the goods on this collection of tracks paying tribute to the greats of ‘70s U.S. rock. American Made is heavy, respectful to the originals, and most importantly, fun! 

The concept of a covers album is hard to nail down, nearly faithful renditions offer little value, centering on well-known, overplayed songs can also detract from the enjoy ability of the task as well, but BPMD balance it out with known songs and also deep cuts. It helps immensely that the singer is a charismatic, son-of-a-gun like Bobby Blitz and Phil Demmel lets loose on the guitar. The covers presented are more “metalized” from their ‘70s originals and the two it reflects most on is Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Saturday Night Special” and Blue Oyster Cult’s “Tattoo Vampire”. The main riff feels like Black Sabbath while the BOC cut is a full-on punky, thrashed out song and remains one of the top tracks covered. Demmel retains the feel of the solos on Cactus’ “Evil” and Van Halen’s “D.O.A.”, while both feature bluesy bass grooves that Menghi brilliantly nails. Hearing Blitz channel his inner David Lee Roth on “D.O.A.” is also a riot to listen to. It’s easy to feel the live vibe the boys replicate like these bands from the ‘70s did as it’s hard not to smile at the smoky ZZ Top cover of “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” or the straight ahead, charged up version of Aerosmith’s “Toys In The Attic”. Closing with the famous Grand Funk Railroad track, “We’re An American Band” is also a nice touch, bringing the theme of the record to an enthusiastic close. BPMD is the perfect remedy to the chaos of 2020; crack open a beer and take a trip back to the ‘70s!


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