Dustin gives his take on the fantastic new album from alt-rock band Balance and Composure.
Picking up where they left off on their 2011 debut full length “Seperation”, Doylestown, Pennsylvania band Balance and Composure have risen the bar for young rock bands with their second album, “The Things We Think We’re Missing.”
The first thing you may notice is that mostly gone are the quiet to loud transitions throughout the songs, exchanged for a straightforward and more aggressive (if you can imagine) album. Frontman Jon Simmons remains one of the most unique young voices out there today and the 12 songs (plus an instrumental interlude) on “TTWTWM” provide him a platform to showcase his range, from guttural screams and yells (opener “Parachutes”) to a voice so soft you can almost feel the hints of regret (“Tiny Raindrop”) sometimes in the same song even (note: the build of “Notice Me”.)
Lyrically, Simmons seems to be exploring failed relationships over the last two years as his band has only gotten bigger and bigger. “Can’t you see me crumbling?Aren’t you feeling on my heartbeat? I want to hear you say; ‘When I call, pick me up when I come undone.'” he sings on “When I Come Undone.” However, he also points the finger back at himself, the lead single “Reflection” finds Simmons asking “I cave in, ran out of miracles. Reflection, who do I really see?” and admitting ” No faith in anything, I have no backbone.” Clearly this is a singer unafraid to look for faults anywhere he can find them, including at himself. Nowhere is this more clear than in “Tiny Raindrops.” Simmons has said the song is a metaphor for wanting someone but knowing your limitations and with lines like “You left me feeling shameful, Even if I could I would never let you know, So come with me I’ll buy you a raincoat Stay with me I’m sick of this shameful head of mine, I’m lost in its tangles” it’s one of the more poignant moments on an album full of them.
From a technical standpoint, the album is near flawless. Producer Will Yip clearly knows the strengths of the band he’s working with and he plays to them to the fullest extent. Sludgy guitar riffs abound on most songs, seamlessly blending heavy distortion with Simmons’ increasing wail to create a tension most bands may be afraid to experiment with.
Almost two solid years of touring since their first album has given Balance and Composure the chops and showmanship that most bands twice their age don’t have. “The Things We Think We’re Missing” isn’t just a landmark release for the young band and a surefire contender for Album of the Year, but a release that should have the entire genre on their heels.
They’re going to have a hard time trying to match the passion and intensity Balance and Composure have become known for, let alone trying to top it.