Balance and Composure’s new Album “The Things We Think We’re Missing” officially drops September 10th, and is fantastic. Hailing from
Doylestown Pennsylvania, Balance and Composure’s unique blend of rock is heavily influenced by 90’s grunge, and has notes of early emo rock as well. However, I can’t think of a single band that sounds similar to Balance and Composure, despite the fact that they take influences from such large genres of music.
Balance and Composure’s debut album release “Separation” (2011) was driven by dynamic shifts and changes, still possessing the grunge/emo sound I mentioned before, but in a more throttled back sense. The biggest difference between “Separation” and “The Things we Think We’re Missing” is the dynamics, as the later album doesn’t have as many shifts between soft/loud playing. Regardless, “The Things we Think We’re Missing” still feels like a more mature album.
The thirteen song album takes off from the start with “Parachute”, as a single short guitar lick repeats only once before being carried by the drums into Jon Simmon’s distressed and urgent voice. The song continues with the same sense of urgency until the 2:20 mark where it makes a shift in dynamics reminiscent of “Separation”.
The song “Tiny Raindrop” is one of the more “Separation” influenced songs on the album, switching between a mellow but steady clean verse, to an overdriven chorus. My favorite song on the album though is “Notice Me,” which is very Nirvana influenced. The last 50 seconds of this song however sound nothing like Nirvana, as Jon Simmon’s passionate cry reaches it’s peak following the most climactic crescendo of the entire album. This section literally gives me goosebumps as Simmon’s howls “Caught me scratching at the back door/Won’t you let me in/Won’t you let me in.”
The album continues with other notable songs such as “Reflection,” “Dirty Head,” and “Keepsake.” “Keepsake” however features Balance and Composure’s former tour mate Anthony Green of Circa Survive on vocals. What I like about this featuring, however, is that usually when bands have musicians from other bands on a track, they give that musician an entire section to work with. Anthony Green here is instead just adding background vocals behind the chorus- and I think this is a very smart move because while it does add a noticeable amount of substance and interesting melody to the song, it is still something that Balance and Composure can execute live without Anthony Green.
“The Things we Think We’re Missing” feels like a natural progression for Balance and Composure, and is a definite step up from their nearly flawless album “Separation”. Balance and Composure have found their voice, and traded their dynamic sound for a more aggressive and emotional sound. The wait is over, and I think that I have found my favorite album of 2013.