I’m going to do something a little different with this post. While reviews aren’t necessarily out of the ordinary for me, I usually review an entire album, concert, or festival. What I’ve never done before, however, is review a single song.
I will now though!
A few days ago the veteran Hard Rock band Breaking Benjamin released a single entitled “Red Cold River.” It’s the first thing we’ve seen Ben Burnley and company put out anything since the 2015 “Dark Before Dawn” which, incidentally, was their first full length studio album since 2009.
Let me start off by saying that I love the band Breaking Benjamin. I was in Junior High when they released their first album “Saturate,” and I’ve been a fan ever since. They were one of my first major concert experiences, and quite frankly they’ve maintained consistency in their sound. Sure there are a few changes here and there, but I would liken Breaking Benjamin to Megadeth in that they found their sound early on, and they’ve perfected it.
This latest single, in my opinion, is good. It’s really good. The band has stepped up the aggressiveness of their sound, and really dialed in the hard rock aspect. Much like “Dark Before Dawn,” this song, I feel, really channels lead singer Benjamin Burnley’s frustration with the way things are.
Burnley has a gift for writing songs that effectively express defeat and frustrations while not coming across whiney or sinking in to the (shudders) “Emo” category.
A few people I know write off Breaking Benjamin as a “Bro” band, which I can understand how they can have that perspective, however I don’t believe they’ve taken the time to actually sit down and really listen to their music. While obnoxious “Bro” bands like Theory of a Dead Man (grimaces), Buckcherry (feels nauseous), and Nickleback (dry heaves) write the same sounding songs about sex, partying, and excessive drinking; Breaking Benjamin songs tend to have more substance and have an air of intellectuality.
“Red Cold River” starts off in typical Breaking Benjamin fashion, and then immediately launches into an aggressive yell , heavy guitars, thundering drums, and chest-pounding bass. From beginning to end, “Red Cold River” is a hard-hitting and heavy song. While it in and of itself is a satisfying listen, it’s left me wanting more music from the band. I’m hoping that the release of this single and the tour they’re on is a signal for a new, full-length studio album.
I suppose we’ll just have to see what the band has in store for us this year.