Release Date: Sep 10, 2013
Record label: No Sleep Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
How do you top something like 'Separation'? Like this. You top it like this. Growing up can be tricky for a band like Pennsylvania’s Balance And Composure. With storming debut record ‘Separation’ fuelled by the sort of adolescent kindle that burns away as quickly as it ignites, their second effort was always unlikely to be a spiky affair.
Despite a recent influx of think-pieces on what it means to be “alternative rock” in 2013, you always know an alternative rock album when you hear one: too loud, angsty, or emo to be Top 40, and still laden with enough hooks not to be experimental, sounding great blaring on the car radio, windows down. And the best alternative rock records transcend Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers-level cheese and instead channel the singer-songwriters who turn the personal into the interpersonal, from Bruce Springsteen to even Nirvana‘s Kurt Cobain. 2013 has seen some great alternative rock records, from the emo and pop punk (Paramore’s self titled record and The Wonder Years’ astounding The Greatest Generation) to the post-grunge (Daylight’s Jar).
If you're reading this, chances are good that at some point in your life, there was an album that completely consumed you. To you, this album was a perfect allegory of an imperfect time, a time when you were wrong, misled, confused or disappointed, either by your own actions or the actions of others. You listened to this album loudly through headphones – probably while lying on your bedroom floor and staring at the ceiling – and for a time, experienced that weird sensation of simultaneous isolation and connection, like driving home with a friend or significant other, holding hands but never saying a word.For many, The Things We Think We're Missing will be that album.
If you’ve resolved every resentment you’ve carried from high school, are in a conflict-free relationship with your significant other, and have not taken a minute in the past few months trying to figure out in literal terms what the fuck is wrong with you people?, then by all means, carry on. There’s nothing to see here. Since most of you stuck around, let’s consider Balance & Composure’s second LP The Things We Think We’re Missing.
Emo was not always a bad word. Long before the genre was sullied by squeaky voiced teens with asymmetrical haircuts and punk rock influences that went back no further than Sum 41, emo was actually something to be proud of (…well, at least it was not something to be ashamed of exactly). And though they would likely bristle at the term, Balance and Composure’s sound harkens back to emo’s better days; Somewhere between Sunny Day Real Estate and Braid.