Balance and Composure
The Things We Think We're Missing


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex Trinkner CONTRIBUTOR (73 Reviews)
September 13th, 2013 | 51 replies


Release Date: 09/10/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Won't you let me in?

It’s only been three years since Balance and Composure released their critically acclaimed split with Tigers Jaw. In the time since then, Jon Simmons and company have released a two song spilt with emo greats Braid, along with releasing a full length debut in 2011, Separation. In terms of musical output, The Things We Think We’re Missing can hardly be considered a record vying to avoid the oft maligned title of “sophomore slump”. A band that has only been around for four years can rarely be considered veterans of their scene, yet with three significant releases in as many years, it is safe to say Balance and Composure have, in the very least, “found” their sound. A grower of an album if there ever has been, The Things We Think We’re Missing sees Balance and Composure fully realizing their vast potential, while simultaneously staying true to their roots.

TTWTWM is a record that attempts to ground itself in cohesion; nearly every song flows into the next, creating a sense of belonging to a complete theme. Although this makes for a more arduous first listen, this record, while listened to in its entirety becomes exponentially more rewarding. The songs on this record vary from grunge-tinged post-hardcore to full out acoustic songs (“Dirty Head”), while most of the record finds itself carefully nested in an alt-rock home; It seems as though there were a multitude of influences on this record, ranging from Nirvana to Neutral Milk Hotel. The album starts off with the aggressive “Parachutes”, a song that prepares listeners for what they are in store for, a song that features both harsh and clean vocals from Simmons, both frenetic and melodic instrumentation all while keeping listeners guessing throughout.

While melodies seem to be an obvious omission on first listen, what TTWTWM sacrifices in catchy melodies, it makes up for in atmosphere. As previously mentioned, songs often flow ceaselessly into one another, adding to the aggressively ominous mood throughout. Songs such as lead single “Reflections” or “Notice Me”, display this penchant for aggression, as the later features nearly a full minute of Simmons screaming his heart out nearly unintelligibly over peaceful backing vocals. Although this is not in any sense a novel approach, it is effective in its use on this song, almost making up for the cringe-worthy lyrics presented earlier: “I am a spider in your room. And I got eight eyes, they’re all on you”

Whether it be spacy instrumental passages, such as the entirety of “Ella”, or the full-fledged venom that rears its head on the penultimate track “Keepsake”, Balance and Composure rarely seem to misstep. When they do though, it is usually in such obvious ways that momentum is stifled. Be it the occasional cringe inducing lyric or the conspicuous voice crack at the end of “Parachutes” that “somehow” managed to find its way on this record, many songs are not without fault, as an occasional song is sparsely mired with such hiccups.

An album that cements the legacy of a band that could have gone in many different directions, The Things We Think We’re Missing is a welcome addition to Balance and Composure’s critically acclaimed catalog. Although it takes longer to appreciate than past offerings, this record may turn out to be the best work these five young men from Doylestown put forth.



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user ratings (290)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Jacob Royal STAFF (2.3)
Numb....

Mike Denison (2.5)
Missing something....

Wayne H. (4)
Balance and Composure at their most balanced and composed....


Comments:Add a Comment 
atrink
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I couldn't believe this didn't have a review yet. So I thought I would fix that lol

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2013


1661 Comments


Excellent review. This album makes me want to get grounded.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2013


20068 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

YES!

Digging: Circa Survive - Descensus

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol

I was thinking about giving this a 4.5.. It's at like a 4.3-4.4 for me. But i thought a 4.5 would make me seem fanboyish

fromtheinside
September 13th 2013


19029 Comments


hey an atrink review thats not mwy, haha jk

no but seriously, cool band i loved most of their ep's

Digging: Ibex Throne - Ibex Throne

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2013


20068 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

was thinking about reviewing this. nice job man.

"A grower of an album if there ever has been, The Things We Think We’re Missing sees Balance and Composure fully realizing their vast potential, while simultaneously staying true to their roots."

"TTWTWM is a record that attempts to ground itself in cohesion; nearly every song flows into the next, creating a sense of belonging to a complete theme"

I agree 100 percent with these statements

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well I'm glad you agree with it lol. You can still review it if you'd like

kmace
September 13th 2013


159 Comments


"Parachutes" and "Tiny Raindrop" are fantastic. I quite like this album but think its a bit too long. I think they could have cut a song or two and I would like it more. Definitely a huge grower though and probably at a 4 for me as well. Great review as always pos.

bloc
September 13th 2013


34999 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album ruled on first listen. Gotta listen to it more.

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

loveisamixtape
September 13th 2013


6232 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so good

Willie
Moderator
September 13th 2013


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Album was good. I enjoyed it. Nice review.

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man. Have you heard any of their other stuff?

KSK1
September 13th 2013


4094 Comments


This album is amazing. Right on par with where I hoped they'd go after Separation.

Willie
Moderator
September 13th 2013


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

No. This is the only one that I've heard.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well if you ever feel like listening to anything else by these guys, i'd suggest their split with tigers jaw. lol

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2013


10359 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3 | Sound Off

Their debut is awesome.

This is very lacking for me

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Is it just the lack of memorable melodies that turns you off from this, or is there something else
too?

andrianoc
September 14th 2013


108 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Such a great album. Will Yip has had a hell of a year with Turnover, Citizen, and now this. Hats off to Mr. Yip!

Digging: The Ghost Inside - Dear Youth

sniper
September 14th 2013


19080 Comments


really hate the album art. not really on its own, but for a band like this it's just weird imo.

Chesse
September 14th 2013


529 Comments


I love that album art for its weirdness



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