I really don’t get too many rock albums anymore, because they are all starting to sound the same to me. But there’s something about Breaking Benjamin that completely gets my attention. They tend to veer away from all the old minor key heavy rock and slip into melodic choruses. It doesn’t make them wimpy, one only needs to hear “Sugarcoat” to bet that there are a few Tool albums in the bands’ CD collection. They also utilize the now obvious device of an acoustic start that rages into the thick chorded chorus, on the great “Next To Nothing.”
It’s also good to hear a band that doesn’t mind rocking without pandering. Too much of the teen-punk that gluts the airwaves these days is derivative sugar. Breaking Benjamin have a gut level approach to the sound. Even something as singable as “Polyamorous” still connects on a visceral level, but not on the same level of violence as — for instance — Korn. The other thing I really like about BB’s “Saturate” is that they didn’t slip into rap-metal, despite Ben Burnly’s raw vocal style. That “Saturate” rocks on it’s own terms sends a signal to me…Breaking Benjamin could have a great future. Three and a half stars.
PS: the second album, “We Are Not Alone,” is even better!