Cleveland band BMZ came together as a group because the members of the band were all looking to do something musically and had nowhere to turn to fill that desire. With Jim Bacha on bass guitar and vocals, Michael Misiak on drums and vocals, and Jerry Zsigo on guitar and vocals, the musicians have created a solid rock band.
The band decided to take their best material and attack the songs in a live setting and record the resulting show for future release. That resulting show took place on March 10th, 2007 at the Cleveland, Ohio concert venue, The Winchester. The band has taken the recorded show and put it out on a double CD album, entitled BMZ Live at The Winchester.
Previous to the date of the concert recording, the band had recorded and released two albums as a four-piece outfit. The new CD features the band in its current three-piece power trio line-up. The difference is definitely noticeable; and it’s a change for the better. As a trio, the band is tighter and the songs rock harder. Having recorded the first two albums in the studio, BMZ Live at The Winchester shows that the real magic happens onstage.
BMZ Live at The Winchester starts off with “Intro,” a simple segue between the audience calling the band onstage by way of applause to the band and the band launching into their first song entitled “Let it Happen”. It is on “Let It Happen” that the listener gets a taste of what is to come:
As the audience lets out an enthusiastic response to the band walking onstage, the song “Let It Happen” finds the trio answering back with a great instrumental that seems to convey the message that the band is happy for the audience’s support. And with the track being strictly instrumental, the listener is first exposed to the playing ability of the band before they truly get to know the band’s songwriting ability. Ultimately, the musical approach on the track brings to mind the Prog-Rock style of Rush. The guitar, bass and drum combination of BMZ is very reminiscent of what Rush has created over the years.
With the track “Evil,” BMZ increases the intensity of the sound of their music. While there is still some of the Prog-Rock edge to the music of this track, the guitar from Jerry Szigo is much heavier. This track is a lot closer to Hard Rock than Prog-Rock. And when the lyrics appear on the track, they seem to contain a large amount of Blues influence to them. The listener can almost imagine any of the Blues Legends such as Willie Dixon or Buddy Guy creating the words for the song.
The music of the next track of “Playin’ and Singin’” returns the listener to a more Prog-Rock sound. In fact, what the lyrical content and the delivery of those lyrics seem to suggest a slight Frank Zappa influence as the lyrical content and the dual voice delivery on the track suggests something that could easily have been influenced by the songwriting of Zappa. Plus, as the lyrics to the song are sung, the vocal deliveries also seem to scream of a Zappa-like arrangement to those vocals.
While the track of “Let It Happen” featured music reminiscent of Rush, what was missing was the lyrics to go along with that influence. But on the track “The Patriots Word,” the complete Rush experience comes through. The music suggests the complete ensemble of that band, while the lyrics to “The Patriot Word” suggest no one else but Rush lyricist (and band drummer) Neil Peart. Sure, BMZ seems to wear a few of their influences on their sleeves, but any lover of Classic Rock should actually be thankful that they do as those influences help to shape the band’s songs.
Throughout the 2-hour concert of high-voltage power rock, BMZ shows that with time comes experience, and with experience comes talent. Jim Bacha, Mike Misiak, and Jerry Zsigo have the experience and the talent, as BMZ Live at The Winchester definitely shows. The audience that showed up that night for the recording helps to make the live experience shine through for the audience listening at home.
If you like power rock, BMZ Live at The Winchester is a MUST for your music collection. The two-plus hours of music on the album gives the listener a very clear indication of what the band is capable of. This is not only a great live album, it’s a great album all the way around.
To hear the music, purchase the album, or for more information on the band, go to www.bmzmusic.com.