Balance and Composure – The Things We Think We’re Missing

written by: September 24, 2013
Album-art-for-The-Things-We-Think-We're-Missing-by-Balance-and-Composure Release Date: September 10, 2013


Balance and Composure is a name that’s becoming increasingly popular in the exponentially growing post-hardcore scene. Its short, but highly renowned, career began only two years ago when its debut LP Separation attracted attention from both critics and fans, allowing the band to continuously tour since its release and eventually sell out headlining shows in major cities.

Now, with a second LP released on Sept. 10, Balance and Composure continues to gain momentum. The Things We Think We’re Missing debuted at number 51 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, marking its first appearance on a mainstream chart.

Balance and Composure has progressed to become an improved version of its already innovative, dynamic sound, securing its rightful place as one of the headliners of the post-hardcore genre.

The most attractive thing about the band is its inventive musical style; Jon Simmons’ identifiable, gruff vocals; and the profound lyrics.

Citing far-off influences like Nirvana and Neutral Milk Hotel, this band will blow you away with its concoction of unique sounds, throwing punch after punch with each screeched lyric and every gritty guitar note.

Balance and Composure has not explored much new territory on its newest release—with the exception of a few songs, like the purely acoustic “Dirty Head” or the instrumental “Ella”—but has become more sinister with age.

This darker, heavier sound feels like the next natural step for the band, especially when you take into account its energy-driven, spastic live shows, which characteristically start with Simmons saying, “Bang your head.”

The intensity Balance and Composure captured on The Things We Think We’re Missing makes it feel as if the album is being performed a few feet in front of you—it cripples you and leaves you begging for more.

The sheer power of this record is evident from the beginning, starting with the violent opening riff and ardent vocals that come after the explosive instrumental exposition.

The lyrics, which talk of a past relationship Simmons can’t let go of, are raw and compelling. Simmons yells with no restraint, “I found you inside of a dream, spinning in circles magically/Took a picture of your eyes, so I could find my empty mind.” “Parachutes” is an epic introduction to an equally epic album, setting an emphatic mood for the entire LP.

The Things We Think We’re Missing manages to have a lot of variation while still maintaining a cohesive feel.

This dichotomy applies to each element of the music: instrumentally, stylistically, vocally, lyrically, all of the above. One of the most prominent changes is the shift in instrumentation as you venture through the 13-song release.

Balance and Composure has consistently ridden on its originality when it comes to instrumental arrangement, shifting from heavily melodic, beautiful riffs like the opening to “Reflection” to the in-your-face, gritty riffs found in “Lost Your Name,” and so many places in between. There is an element of surprise whenever one track ends, leaving listeners unable to guess what will come next.

The other aspect of the band’s sound that carries over to the new record is Simmons’ ability to sing in two distinct vocal styles. Between the uncontrolled screaming in the opening track (which reappears throughout the album), to the calmer, toned-down singing in the finale “Enemy,” it almost sounds like two different bands.

Balance and Composure is able to capture a different feel depending on the song, or even go back and forth within one track like it does between the verses and choruses in “Parchutes.”

With another solid release under its belt, Balance and Composure is able to drop its label of “promising newcomer” and pick up the new title of “serious contender” for a place on Album of the Year charts.

Balance and Composure – The Things We Think We’re Missing tracklist:

  1. “Parachute”
  2. “Lost Your Name”
  3. “Back of Your Head”
  4. “Tiny Raindrop”
  5. “Notice Me”
  6. “Ella”
  7. “Cut Me Open”
  8. “Reflection”
  9. “I’m Swimming”
  10. “When I Come Undone”
  11. “Dirty Head”
  12. “Keepsake”
  13. “Enemy”