Benton Falls - Guilt Beats Hate (Cover Artwork)

Benton Falls

Benton Falls: Guilt Beats HateGuilt Beats Hate (2003)
Deep Elm Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

With all the recent speculation about Benton Falls breaking up, I can only hope that for all of our sakes, they reconsider and stick it out. Why? Because this album rocks, plain and simple. Benton Falls is a trio of men from Santa Rosa, CA, and these guys make a lot of sound. My first impressi.
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With all the recent speculation about Benton Falls breaking up, I can only hope that for all of our sakes, they reconsider and stick it out. Why? Because this album rocks, plain and simple.

Benton Falls is a trio of men from Santa Rosa, CA, and these guys make a lot of sound. My first impression of this CD was "wow, this is loud." I assumed there would be, if nothing else, at least two guitar players. I was wrong. Singer Michael Richardson covers all guitar duties, and this guy can shred. The sheer power brought forth by his six-string puts me in awe at times on this album. Knowing that he does all the singing [and occasional screaming, too] only makes me hold his talent in a higher regard.

Look at me, I'm jumping ahead - you don't even know what the band sounds like! Well for starters, it's on Deep Elm.

Okay, now that 90% of you have already scrolled to the bottom of the review to leave some comment like "emo blowz! bye the new racnid album!!!@$@(*$&#$," I'll address the rest of you who don't always write off bands based on a label association. Yes, this is stereotypically "emo" music. No one involved with this album will deny that. But this album is definitely in the upper echelon of what Deep Elm has been releasing lately [Brandtson? Please. If I wanted to hear Midtown, I'd listen to my Midtown CDs]. Richardson's voice is more unique than it is generically whiny, although his tone does strike a familiarity within me. I can't recall who he sounds like, but I know I like it. And, while the lyrics are your basic Deep Elm "I'm depressed, I miss you, I'm dying, etc." fodder, Richardson actually pulls off lines like "January's cold / but February's colder" with a level of sincerity not seen since Sunny Day Real Estate. The band also sparingly uses the idea of screaming in some of the tracks. Scattered throughout the album, it helps more than hinders, as you never really get sick of it.

So who does the band sound like? For Deep Elm comparisons, think of the intensity of Planes Mistaken For Stars coupled with the creativity of the Appleseed Cast [their earlier work, in particular]. If I were to venture outside the Deep Elm umbrella, I'd say that people who were into Thursday before they were on M2 [basically anyone who was suckered into paying 15 bucks for the CD when it first came out, only to find it selling for $6.99 a year later because they were a "new artist"] would appreciate the talent of this band. Like I said before, this is a stereotypically "emo" sound, and I'm getting fed up with the copycats as much as anyone, but this record is one of the diamonds you should try to discover, not one of the chunks of coal you pitch to the side.

This Housecall Could Kill [full]
Bitter By Choice [clip]
Trial and Terror [clip]
Angel on Hiatus [clip]
Like Portraits on Walls [clip]
Defining the Warm-Up [clip]


People who liked this also liked:
Engine Down - DemureAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeHot Water Music - A Flight and a CrashDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Since By Man - We Sing The Body ElectricEvery Time I Die - Hot Damn!The Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home About

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (August 26, 2003)

I talked to Michael at a New Trust show the other night, and he is just the coolest guy ever. Nice as can be and just shreds on guitar. Holy crap he was impressive. He seemed out of place not fronting the band though. Get both this CD and The New Trust's 8 song EP. Absolutely great music coming from both bands.

Anonymous (April 22, 2003)

how many scotts do we have on this site in the posts below i counted 3 different ones

Anonymous (April 21, 2003)

i was actually suckered into buying the Thursday CD for $9, before they got big, and before I discovered that every last one of their songs sound the fucking same. I'll never forgive those little cocksuckers...

soulbleed (April 21, 2003)

that was actually pretty funny. but no

Anonymous (April 21, 2003)

I love that first comment,leave Scott to review what needs to be heard. Benton Falls rocks, soulbleed should read a review like this, please for the sake of all of us never let that guy review again, I want to take all his sadcore music and wipe my arse with it.

TheBouncingSoul (April 21, 2003)

agreed...benton falls is great, i hope they didnt break up

hungryjoe (April 21, 2003)

amg actually says "Best record ever on Deep Elm? Pretty close."

i'll have to check it out. i find amg to be pretty accurate and (relatively) unbiased in their reviews, although i don't agree with their "End Hits"-bashing.

Anonymous (April 20, 2003)

amg's critics describe this album as 'the best release on deep elm'

Psh. I like Black Phantom Crusades (red animal war) better.

Anonymous (April 20, 2003)

amg's critics describe this album as 'the best release on deep elm' .. i tend to disagree, however - it's mighty fine. i really do like this band, and it was surprising to see an album that was actually up-to-par with 'fighting starlight' .. props to this band for keeping it real, and props to anyone who listens to them. check out a band called 'the white octave' if you like this one - particularly their first.

Anonymous (April 20, 2003)



Anonymous (April 19, 2003)

Hot Topic is NOT NOT NOT owned by the gap. It's the biggest false rumor EVER.

lieutenant (April 19, 2003)

This band is not bad. Original comment of the day, huh.

Regardless, I will say that this was a great review, though. There are times when I log onto this website to read about bands I like or am curious about, and there are times when I just like enjoy the pleasure of reading. This fulfills that second desire with much satisfaction.

Anonymous (April 19, 2003)

Id just like to say that the guy that said go buy a rancid CD is very intelligent! HAHA fuckers i used a big word im not just a stupid kid anymore huh

-RaNcId PuNx

Kurt_F (April 18, 2003)

Angel On Hiatus is my favorite song too, followed by The Race To Die and the second to last song...I forget it's name.

maverick (April 18, 2003)

The Gap owns Hot Topic? I never knew that.


Anonymous (April 18, 2003)

Who cares? Hot Topic is owned by Gap, and sells all sorts of indie cds.


p.s. This cd is amazing. In my top 10 of this year fo sho. Angel on Hiatus is definitely the best song on the cd IMO.

Anonymous (April 18, 2003)

The Abercrombie thing piss you off? Hollister Co. (A sister store of Abercrombie) sells the following records in their shop -- Hot Hot Heat, Something Corporate, Dashboard Confessional, Juliana Theory, Jimmy Eat World, All-American Rejects, Weezer, Red Animal War, Alkaline Trio, Saves The Day, and I'm sure there are a few others that I'm forgetting...But yeah, maybe that'll fire your engines up.

- Scott
(This should be cute)

Kurt_F (April 18, 2003)

I love this band. Brandston=Midtown though? No.

Anonymous (April 18, 2003)

emo blowz! bye the new racnid album!!!@$@(*$&#$

I couldn't help it... but really, these guys are not bad.

Anonymous (April 18, 2003)

abercrombie hosted some stuff by Kicked in the Head once. Why, i have no idea, but they did.

Anonymous (April 18, 2003)

This CD makes me feel like im doing a front flip off of a 10 story building. Not a backflip, a front flip. Its not that great.

-RaNcId PuNx

Anonymous (April 18, 2003)

Yeah, abercrombie seems to host a bunch of Deep Elm downloads.


StabbingGoldfish (April 18, 2003)

Did anyone else notice where the download for the first song leads you to? "anfdownloads.abercrombie.com" thats really wierd. The song is great though.

Anonymous (April 18, 2003)

"[Brandtson? Please. If I wanted to hear Midtown, I'd listen to my Midtown CDs]."
Haha so true.
Good band, good review.

travis (April 18, 2003)

i agree with most of your review. This CD fucking shreds. I like it more than Fighting Starlight, and I love that cd.

But seriously, I know you dont like Brandtson, but comparing them to midtown? Please, scott you know thats not valid.

Great review otherwise. It would make me want to buy the cd if i didnt already have it.

sloppyblake (April 18, 2003)

leave it to scott to review bands that need to be heard. props.

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