Balance And Composure, The Things We Think We’re Missing, Review
The year was 2011, when I came across an album that seemed to mix post-hardcore with the fuzzy guitar feedback and ringing choruses of 90’s grunge era nostalgia. Separation, the debut album from PA based rock band, Balance And Composure, was a presentation of refreshingly cerebral and gimmick-free style post-rock, that was both something sentimental and completely unexpected. For fans like me, of Balance and Composure’s characteristic sound, the long, nail-biting wait for a second album is finally over. Their sophomore record, titled The Things We Think We’re Missing, will be released September 10th via No Sleep Records, and it may very well be the band’s most daring and passionate release to date.
From the get go, Balance And Composure hit us with beautifully layered, mellow intros and reverb imbued guitar hooks. “Parachute” acts as the quintessential opener for this all around outstanding exhibition of musicianship. “Lost Your Name” and “Back Of Your Head” capture the band’s superbly controlled transitions from soft and somber to thunderously heavy. This thoughtfully produced pattern of rising and falling makes the tracks astoundingly dynamic and able to hold some paramount moments of sublime musicality. “Tiny Raindrop” is compellingly moody and nostalgic, a definite throw-back to the gritty, angst-ridden power-jams of the 1990’s.
Balance And Composure’s adherence to balance between airy fluidity and tangible heaviness acts as a definite strength and adds an instantly recognizable quality to their music. Riding the ebbs and flows of the album, “Ella” stands as an ethereal and delicate prelude to the intense, drum-filled sound of “Cut Me Open”. “Reflection”, which was my favorite track off The Things We Think We’re Missing, takes into full force the album’s overall themes of introspection, inner- torment, longing, and wistfulness. Maintaining that gut-wrenching melancholic emotionality, “When I Come Undone” serves to quicken the pace, introducing arguably the catchiest chorus on the record. The gorgeous musical journey culminates with “Enemy”, an almost Smashing Pumpkins-esque sounding track, closing the album on a high note, both revitalizing and contemplative.
Balance And Composure have come leaps and bounds from the days of Separation, with another poignant piece of musicianship. The fine-tuned attention to the yin and yang of strength and delicacy, found throughout The Things We Think We’re Missing, is something truly unmatched in the post-rock scene. Indulging listeners with an angsty and grungy 90’s essence, soaring choruses and metaphor-infused lyrics, and songs sung with the utmost clarity, there’s no doubt that Balance And Composure will take the post-hardcore community by storm. This album is highly recommended for, but definitely not limited to, fans of Seahaven, Mudhoney, Make Do And Mend, Joyce Manor, Stone Temple Pilots, and The Posies. For more information on upcoming tours and releases from Balance And Composure, check out the band’s Facebook page, (https://www.facebook.com/balanceandcomposure), or their website (http://balanceandcomposure.com/). Also be sure to catch the band out on tour with Title Fight September 12-October 13.
Balance and Composure Tour Dates (w/Title Fight):
Sept 12 – Baltimore, MD – Otto Bar
Sept 13 – Virginia Beach, VA – The Jewish Mother
Sept 14 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
Sept 15 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
Sept 16 – Orlando, FL – Backbooth
Sept 18 – Jacksonville, FL – Roc Bar
Sept 20 – Houston, TX – Fitzgeralds
Sept 21 – Dallas, TX – The Door
Sept 23 – Mesa, AZ – Nile Theater
Sept 24 – San Diego, CA – The Epicenter
Sept 27 – Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst Atrium
Sept 28 – Berkeley, CA – 924 Gilman
Sept 30 – Salt Lake City, UT – Club Sound
Oct 1 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theater
Oct 2 – Lawrence, KS – The Granada
Oct 3 – St. Louis, MO – Firebird
Oct 4 – Chicago, IL – Metro
Oct 5 – Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
Oct 6 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
Oct 8 – Toronto, ON – Mod Club
Oct 9 – Montreal, QC – La Tulipe
Oct 10 – Boston, MA – Royale Nightclub
Oct 11 – New London, TC – The El ‘N’ Gee Club
Oct 12 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
Oct 13 – Patchogue, NY – 89 North