Breaking Benjamin
So Cold


2.2
poor

Review

by Simon K. STAFF
November 22nd, 2023 | 7 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


The So Cold EP is something that’s pretty close to my heart. In spite of its volatile quality and bizarre tracklisting, it’s a record that’s always stuck with me since it was first released. Being that I largely overlook EPs as well, I feel it must have done something right to have stayed in my purview for this long. Nearly twenty years removed from its release though, there’s one clear reason why I was so fond of this EP at the time: the titular track on here is exceptional. It’s not noted as live like “Breakdown” or “Away”, but the track is a live acoustic rendition all the same; an unrelentingly raw version of a great song, with Ben laying down one of his most emotive performances to date. Its austerity is certainly its greatest asset, allowing Ben to flex his abilities as a vocalist, but there’s a metaphysical element nestled inside of it that makes it one of the best Breaking Benjamin songs to date. Outside of that, the interesting thing about the rest of So Cold EP in 2023 isn’t from the other tracks though. No, with the exception of my unapologetic bias for it coming out in my formative years, my intrigue now comes from the fact it simultaneously demonstrates the band’s best and worst qualities to such a glaring degree.

Regardless of my predisposition to wax lyrical about my days playing Halo and blasting out this band’s tunes back in the day, I will admit “Blow Me Away” is a shade cringe by today’s standards. Yet, its sashaying grooves, chugging riffs, and astute hooks make it a pretty strong moment on the EP – bare-knuckled fun that you don’t see a lot of in music today, and for that reason I give it a lot of leeway. However, where “So Cold (acoustic)” is legitimately one of their best songs in the catalogue, “Lady Bug” is easily one of if not the worst song ever devised by Ben and his cohorts. It’s essentially a crappy punk track with horrible lyrics, derivative punk riffing, and a fairly shocking vocal performance from Ben. While we’re on the subject of vocals, both live versions of “Breakdown” and “Away” are utterly flummoxing choices to stick on here. Instrumentally these tracks are fine, but Ben’s high-pitched screams in “Away” sound like he blew out his throat earlier on and are honestly pretty terrible. Similarly, his performance on “Breakdown” leaves a lot to be desired and doesn’t capture the band at the top of their game.

So, what are you getting? Well, you’re getting an exceptional acoustic rendition to one of their most well-known and best tracks, a middling but fun track originally made for Halo 2, a track so bad it should have never seen the light of day, and two questionable live tracks from We Are Not Alone. In all honesty, I think the reason why this EP has endured in my memory archives for this long is solely because of “So Cold” and maybe the member berries that come with “Blow Me Away”. “Lady Bug” is an abomination, and while “Breakdown” and “Away” are intriguing in the sense that you’re trying to understand why they are on here, they just don’t amount to much of anything overall. It goes without saying that the title track absolutely deserves your attention if you’re a fan of the band, but for everything else on here I wouldn’t waste your time.



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Not one of Breaking Benjamin's proudest moments....



Comments:Add a Comment 
Drifter
November 22nd 2023


20803 Comments


lady bug is so fire. its honestly become one of my favorites. love the shine you gave to the acoustic so cold too i always loved his performance on that

the live breakdown and away are so trash its hilarious lmao

sixdegrees
November 23rd 2023


13127 Comments


Halo 2

Snake.
November 23rd 2023


25235 Comments


this needed a review

sonictheplumber
November 23rd 2023


17533 Comments


this band is a bunch of crap

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
November 23rd 2023


18240 Comments

Album Rating: 2.2

Man, Lady Bug draws out so much ire from me lol. Terrible on every level.

Christbait
November 28th 2023


270 Comments


In hindsight, that Halo 2 album is hella weird. There's a 3 or 4-song suite by Incubus that plays over the 4th or 5th level, can't remember. It was one of the ones with Arbiter.

Drifter
November 28th 2023


20803 Comments


it was the mission the arbiter lol



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