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Benjamin Gate | Cintact | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop

The Benjamin Gate

Cintact (Forefront)
by Jamie Kiffel

Electrified rock with a rich-voiced frontwoman whose alto wraps deep and lion-like around the notes. This is music that could rock arenas, hot, singable stuff with sexy style. You'd never guess the kids of The Benjamin Gate are rocking out for Jesus.

Yet according to 20-year-old singer Adrienne Liesching's comments on the PR sheet, it's God's awesomeness that inspired rocking songs like "Need," and as Liesching explains, "Your Kisses Blind Me" is a love song "either to God or for someone who is in love." The track "Gratitude" is about "being affected in the most complete way by The Holy Spirit," and "Violently" is about "what it might be like when Jesus comes back."

Well, Liesching's voice is inspired, and she does express deep soul. She doesn't explicitly sing "Jesus" anywhere that I can hear, but this is not atheist rock. Frankly, it's a Marxist double-whammy: Rock music and opiate religion. And I like it.

Ironically, my favorite track by far is "Overkill," a hard-driving Men At Work cover that isn't at all about God. But it does move my spirit. I think that counts.

For another little shock, take into account that this is "South Africa's top rock import." Yes, white kids living in a country recovering from apartheid and now experiencing its first democratic elections probably do turn to God an awful lot. Products of a strife-torn country need to.

But then, isn't that, after all, what rock and roll is about? Tearing out angst in the form of a musical yell, moving the gut to where you can feel something, anything, in the face of adversity? Dig The Benjamin Gate's rebellious God trip. It might just raise your faith in music.

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