Breaking Benjamin: So Who Broke You?

Breaking Benjamin: Ben Burnley-vocals/guitars. Aaron Fink-guitar. Marcus James-bass.

Barbara Fara
Editor-In-Chief
Music Incider Magazine

Really, who broke you? I have wondered since the first time I heard the band name Ben. Does your teenage angst have a body count too? -I saw Benjy at the Masquerade play to a much amped and over fucking hyped Atlanta kiddie crowd. Benjy told us he was hung over. The little children loved this. -I have two words for you kids, Billy Corrigan. He already did the big loser guy thing and contributed on the songs for WE ARE NOT ALONE. And that is what you have here with Breaking Benjamin at a live show-a much harder Smashing Pumpkins. In fact, Benjy is metal and most definitely not rock. Metal is not a dirty word, but PR people will strive to call their fucking bands ALTERNATIVE or ROCK before they allow them to be called METAL. So here we have a METAL band, much like ANTHRAX on speedballs that gets hyped as ROCK but will fall under the ALTERNATIVE label at Borders. -Interesting. We have a group of over educated twelve year olds classifying music at labels these days. -There are things to like about Ben Burnley. He has a set of pipes on him that could have hit every note and been heard without a microphone in a packed Masquerade. He plays a mean lead when he takes a notion to. Style-wise, he is an awful lot like the mighty George Lynch. He knows his audience and plays to them-a bunch of small children. He looks comfortable and confident on stage. -But Ben Burnley is my only shot to have ever have made it into Pollstar. Why? What makes him any more special than some of the fucking giants I have taken pictures of? The answer is simple, packaging. -Maybe Artimus Pyledriver should start calling themselves alternative. Hell, they would have been multi-platinum by now. -Breaking Benjamin is a decent band. The material is decent, but where the fuck do people get off thinking it is top shelf? It is no fucking better or any more exciting than anything else out there. -The band puts out a lot of lyrics about COLD. Get the motherfucker a sweater and send him to a shrink. We already have a band named COLD who went on hiatus due to massive family casualties. There isn't a lot of redeeming poetic value or heavy political statements like I would find in a Megadeth CD. The album does not resolve into hope-WE ARE NOT ALONE. Every song is music to slit your wrists to, and unfortunately that shit seems to be selling. What scares the shit out of me is who is buying? -The majority of Breaking Benjamin's audience at The Masquerade was under eighteen. They seemed to be trying to send out power, but fell short with the material they had to work with. -Corrigan probably held onto all of Burnley's best ideas for his new project. -The verdict? Breaking Benjamin is a great studio band, but the live show lacks the gas to truly take you anywhere. It is only truly kick ass if you are on prozac, zoloft, or ritalin.

About this Article

This article was written by Barbara Fara and is identified as Article #388.
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