Ben Harold & The Rising’s Latest Album is Cathartic for Each Listener

Aiden Faire
Aiden Faire - Music Reviewer 6 Min Read

The members of the rock based band from Milwuake, Wisconsin, Ben Harold & The Rising, each bagan their musical journey’s at different points in their lives. Their drummer, Joe Howard, began very young at his dad’s church at the age of two. The rest of the band Carl Crumbliss (bass), Ken Zabler (guitars, BGVs), Dan Kolesari (Keyboards), and lead vocalist and guitarist Ben Harold, each came into music in their teens. Ken started playing music after he played the saxophone in school, while Dan and Ben each had their own bands. Each member played in their own bands or solo for several years and were soon joined together by location and circumstance for brief spells or, in the case of Joe, multiple times over the course of twenty years. 

Their most recent album, These Days, covers the human experience and condition during the pandemic. They explore and share relatable stories that we can all relate to during those hard times. They have a Tom Petty meets Bruce Springsteen meets Gov’t Mule meets Counting Crows sound to their music, giving them a unique sound you won’t find anywhere else.

The opening song, “Just Like a Ghost,” was inspired by Ben’s mother, who raised him and his brothers alone as a young mom. She was a musician that had to give up her dream to support her family. She even taught Ben everything he knows now about music, leading him down a similar path so Ben wrote and dedicated this song to her. Interestingly, “I Am Weak” follows “Just Like a Ghost.” It’s a song of both inner strength and weakness through the pandemic with a strong piano hook and an upbeat rock melody that keeps you engaged. He sings “I am weak/I am weak/and I’m trapped inside these walls,” sharing that his, and all of our willpower, was weakened. It’s not that we are physically weak, but a recognition that loneliness and isolation takes its toll on us as humans.

“Bad Luck” starts with a minor chord strumming on the guitar that perfectly reflects the uncertainty of these times. It musically sets up the lyrics and circumstance of “what now?” that kept creeping up on us. “Walk Away” is a slow song with gentle guitar melody about being able to see a situation clearly when you walk away. He sings “when the smoke clears/you can see what started the fire.” While you can relay the meaning to the pandemic, it feels more like a relationship and how you can see the wrongs more clearly when the negative feelings pass. 

The tempo picks up a bit with “Needle,” a classic rock based song that has more of a Tom Petty sound. He explores the idea of drugs and the feeling of inner chaos when you take them by using screaming guitars and a heavy melody. Juxtaposed with “Needle” is “Lucy,” a slow keyboard song lead by Ben’s vocals and a story of a woman who struggles with her inner strength and her willpower. He sings “Where will it end?/ Does it ever?/Even the strong/can be about to give up”

“On the Run” explores freedom and regret, that running may give a sense of individualism, but can also make you feel like you missed out on the important things. It’s both metaphorical and physical; it’s as much about running away from our problems to running away from our feelings. It has a Counting Crows sound to it with a lighter pop rock vibe. “Melody in Silence” takes us on a journey that Ben himself took while spending a day with two homeless men in Milwaukee. “This song builds hope from a simple storyline into a frenzy of raw emotions and begs us to ask ourselves, do we truly see those around us?” shares Ben. 

“What’s Done is Done” is a rock song about accepting change. The song acknowledges that the past happened, but you need to move forward, singing “what’s done is done/what’s gone is gone.” The closing song is “Steady As She Goes,” featuring Merissa Marx. It’s a Bruce Springsteen-like song about how hard the pandemic was singing “these times can break your heart/these times can steal your fire/these times can crush your soul/when almost any issue goes.” It’s really a song of hopefulness, that time keeps pushing forward and while these times are tough, we will one day reach the other side.

Connect with Ben Harold & The Rising via:

Website // Instagram // Twitter // Facebook // Spotify // Soundcloud

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By Aiden Faire Music Reviewer
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I fell in love with music when I first picked up a guitar at age 8. When I played, my friends and family would smile and spill with joy over the music I played, even though it was never Grammy quality. While my music career never made it past high school, my love for music never waivered. I loved the feeling of bringing a smile to someone's face through music and wanted to keep that passion going. So, I took it upon myself to continue to support and promote artists by writing about their music. This way, I can support my personal passion for music and bring entertain and joy to others through music.  Outside my love for music, I do enjoy a good hike and being in the outdoors. My favorite place that I've hiked is in Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. I love to travel too. I've been to Costa Rica, Vancouver, BC, and England, but the best place by far is Germany on Oktoberfest. I liken that experience to being in New Orleans on Mardi Gras. I like a good book now and then, but I'm more of a streaming fiend. I live for crime docuseries on Netflix, veterinary shows on National Geographic, and re-watching Scrubs on Hulu.