June 8, 2020 BPMD – American Made (Album Review)
BPMD is a brand new super group featuring some legendary and notorious names in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Making up BPMD is Bobby Blitz of Overkill on vocals, Mike Portnoy of The Winery Dogs and Sons of Apollo pounding the drums, Mark Menghi of Metal Allegiance on the bass guitar, and former Machine Head Guitarist Phil Demmel, who is also known for his role with Thrash band Vio-lence. Coming out of nowhere, these four men join forces to release their debut album, American Made, ready to drop on Friday, June 12, 2020 via Napalm Records.
Any time a super group is put together, fans and critics will always be curious how the band will sound. Will they sound like the singer’s band? Will these guys do something no one would ever expect? These are some of the questions that come to mind. So with BPMD, you have one of the most unique voices in Thrash Metal, arguably the best drummer in Progressive Metal, a bassist from a full-on Metal super group, and a Heavy Metal guitarist who can slay beasts with his riffs.
As BPMD’s debut, American Made is actually a cover album. Digging deeper, not only is American Made a cover album, American Made sees BPMD covering ten All-American Rock-and-Roll classics. Not only this, but BPMD did not just try to cover these songs note for note, they actually went all in and turned these tracks into full on Hard Rock/Heavy Metal songs. First on the list, BPMD went after Ted Nugent’s “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang.” One of the naughtiest Rock-and-Roll songs of the 1970s, BPMD took Nugent’s classic sound and turned it up only a few notches to fit their own heavier style.
Next, BPMD take on Aerosmith’s “Toys In The Attic” with an overly Metal feel before bringing out the evil in “Evil” by Blues icon Howlin’ Wolf. BPMD then turn up the energy of ZZ Top’s Texas Rock tune “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers.” Probably the best cover on the entire album, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Saturday Night Special” is a bit of a dark horse as Portnoy, Menghi, and Demmel do some nice work stretching and expanding the melody to bring a lot more energy to the song. A deeper cut, Blue Oyster Cult’s “Tattoo Vampire” has the perfect lyrical make up and off the wall melody for this type of cover.
Thereafter, BPMD do a decent tribute to the mighty Van Halen’s “D.O.A.” Then, BPMD covers “Walk Away” by Eagles legend Joe Walsh’s old band The James Gang and Mountain’s “Never In My Life.” Ending American Made the right way, BPMD’s version of “We’re An American Band” is more distorted than Grand Funk Railroad’s 1973 hit, yet this is the kind of song where you cannot escape that classic 1970’s sound.
On paper, BPMD is certainly made up of incredible talent. Some may be surprised Metal musicians of this caliber chose the cover album route rather than to record originals, but BPMD would not be the first. Maybe BPMD are just trying to feel things out, though it is more likely they are using this opportunity to pay tribute to their own Rock-and-Roll heroes. It is too soon to say whether or not a second album is on the horizon, but BPMD has the potential to record some really good original music if they choose to do so in the future. Until then, fans looking for something different can get a taste of BPMD when American Made is released. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives American Made 3 out of 5 stars.