One of my most anticated albums to come out this month comes from Pennsylvanian rock quintet Balance and Composure. Their sophomore album The Things We Think We’re Missing raises the bands intensity immensely while staying relatively familiar.
A couple of years ago, I briefly talked about Balance and Composure as one of the bands people should take notice of. And take notice people did: B&C’s debut album Seperation was a favorite amongst rock critics and fans alike. And constant touring with bands such as Title Fight and Touché Amore as well as releasing splits with Braid and Tiger Jaw also raised their profile to one of the more prominent post hardcore bands out there today. Two years removed from Separation, Balance and Composure come back with The Things We Think We’re Missing, a pummeling, catchy rock LP that doesn’t let up from start to finish.
The first single to come off of the album, “Reflector” starts with a gorgeous riff and builds into this reflectionary piece of musical goodness. “When I Come Undone” is probably the most progressive song on the album, as the drums just keep pushing the song along as well as giving it one of the more diverse personalities on the album. What I wanted on the album, and what I definitely recieved, was fantastic poeticism in the lyrics. “I’m Swimming” “Lost Your Name, “Back of Your Head,” and “Enemy” all contain fantastic lyrical bars, and every listen finds different moments that makes the overall package that much more exceptional.
The only gripe I have with The Things We Think We’re Missing is the lack of diversity in Jon Simmons’ vocal work. Though his somber tone and aggressive yells are performed without a hitch, the lack of vocal diversity didn’t sit with me well. If you’re going to work with someone like Anthony Green (lead singer for Circa Survive), I would think you would pull out all the stops to make that dog stand out. However, “Keepsake” sounds just like another Balance and Composure song, lacking in the gravitas that I hoped Green would bring to this record. What the album also lacks is experimentation. All songs here feel familiar; many moments here reminds me of such on their last album. This isn’t a big complaint, since I loved their first album, but maybe some more diversity would help their next album not feel so familiar or cathartic.
This is just a small gripe in an overall solid package. The lyrical content is poetic (“Come on and feel it out, Tell me everything you think abut when we’re not dreaming.”) and hits every mood possible within the thirteen tracks. Though The Things We Think We’re Missing sounds a lot like Separation, Balance and Composure took the two years of touring and playing to create an LP that shows how the band has grown musically. Now that there is an emo revival going on in rock music today, Balance and Composure can lead the next wave of bands to flirt with this style of music. The Things We Think We’re Missing is an exciting, bombastic, and exceptionally written rock album that will surely spark the new wave of emo bands to do better.
Final Grade: A-
Go Download: “Reflections,” “I’m Swimming”