Mike Portnoy is undoubtedly one of the busiest bees in the rock and metal world, active in no less than 7 fairly well-known bands plus a handful of others. BPMD is the youngest of them, a cover band that saw the light of day a year ago under the impulse of Mark Menghi who forms the rhythm section at Metal Allegiance together with Portnoy .
Purpose of BPMD : to bring covers in its own version. The other two band members are also no strangers. Phil Demmel , was a guitarist at Machine Head for 15 years and recently joined thrashers Vio-lence after leaving Machine Head . Roaring buoy is Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, who has been popping crystal glasses at Overkill with his sharp tenor voice for forty years .
BPMD does not just release covers, but focuses on American hits from the seventies. An idea of the now 9-year-old son of Mark Menghi who does not listen to pop and soul tunes like most of his peers on the other side of the big lake.
The basis of this album and the band is the song Saturday Night Special by Lynyrd Skynyrd , a very American band. Menghi contacted some of his music-making friends to create BPMD , a name formed by the first letter of the names of the four band members.
Menghi and Ellsworth had already agreed during the recording of the second Metal Allegiance to do something musical together without having a concrete idea. The search for a shredder soon came to Phil Demmel . All that was missing was a sheet tamer and soon Menghi came out to none other than Mike Portnoy who gets more requests than he changes underwear, but agreed almost immediately.
The first song that was addressed was the song that started this story, Saturday Night Special by Lynyrd Skynyrd . Furthermore, each band member picked out two seventies songs and the other three members had to put down and be creative when adjusting the song.
The album starts with a song that the older generation and old school rockers undoubtedly know among us, Wang Dang Sweet Poontang , a song that can be found on one of the most famous live albums of the seventies, Gonzo Live , by Ted Nugent . A song chosen by Mike Portnoy .
In addition to the well-known Ted Nugent song that immediately shakes you up, there are a number of songs that you may know, including Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers from ZZ Top, which has been covered countless times but has one of its best interpretations here, DOA from Van Halen or Toys In The Attic from the early days of Aerosmith in a nice own version with a single guitar in contrast to the original.
Lesser-known bands are also covered, such as The James Gang , Mountain of Cactus , the last two choices of singerBobby Ellsworth . Demmel ’s choices were in addition to Van Halen, Tattoo Vampire from Blue Öyster Cult, which was also beautifully executed.
The tribute to the American seventies is concluded with We’re An American Band of arena rock greats Grand Funk Railroad who are still active after more than fifty years, although a number of breaks have been taken.