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The Supergroup.  It's a name used by many to describe a group of individually successful musicians that get together with other well-known players to form unique new bands.  There are supergroups in all facets of music, of course, but for me, when the word comes out that a supergroup of "metal giants" is on the horizon, I still get a tad bit shaky.  Many in the past held promise, but most of them came and went, imploded, drifted into obscurity, or simply faded away.   Most of these anticipated bands hit with a splash and ended up leaving us fans feeling empty.  Nevertheless, I still have lofty expectations with these albums,  sometimes more so than individual band releases!

This week we were treated to the debut release of BPMD (an acronym of the members' names), entitled American Made.  Lead Singer Bobby Blitz (Overkill), drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Sons of Apollo), bassist Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance), and guitarist Phil Demmel (Vio-lence, Machine Head) got together to put their stamp on some great American 70's rock tunes.  For three of the most straight-up metal musicians you'll find today coupled with a self-proclaimed progressive drummer, they merge together so soundly and recreate these classics in an unbelievable way. You can tell these dudes had a boatload of fun doing this while creating unique renditions of all these songs.  They didn't try to do too much as the whole point of this album was to have each player perform the song as they would naturally.   The result is one of the most refreshing and kick-ass albums to come out in recent memory.

The album starts with an attention-getting intro from Blitz that scared the crap out of me at first.  Immediately following this outburst was Ted Nugent's "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang".  It came to life with a fierceness that sets the tone for the whole record.  Aerosmith's "Toys in the Attic" follows with a power you'll never extract from the original.  This trend continues throughout the entire 10-tracks.  What follows are some very cool covers including ZZ Top's "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers" which is turned upside down and inside out into one helluva rocking tune while all the while keeping the flavor of the original close at hand.  Willie Dixon's "Evil" is given the treatment also as well as Lynard Skynard's "Saturday Night Special," all leading into Blue Oyster Cult's "Tattoo Vampire."   A bit obscure to be sure, but this song, in my opinion, could be the highlight of the entire album.  The boys manage to transform this one into an upbeat barn-burner, which seems to suit Blitz's style nicely.  A borderline thrash tune with tinges of punk, this one shines!

If you're looking to a spin a few hard rock classics while you're out and about, take BPMD's American Made for a ride.  This one covers all the bases and will surely please even the most finicky rock and metal fans.  With powerful riffs and a truly unique take on some of the pasts most beloved songs, this one will be on your playlist for weeks and weeks to come.  Grab this however you can and play it now.  And do it loud, you'll be thanking me later!


As always, rock on my friends!     Hunnypot Approved!     Overall Rating:  9.1 out of 10

Artist:  BPMD  LPAmerican Made  Release Date: June 12th, 2020,   Label:  Napalm Records



John McAteer

Photojournalist - Orange County

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