Balance and Composure

January 24th, 2014 by  |  Published in Concerts

Balance and Composure - promo

Alternative rock band Balance and Composure have all the right influences. I’ll mention them now, so the rest of this concert review isn’t littered with name drops: Nirvana, Knapsack, Jawbreaker, Sunny Day Real Estate, Neutral Milk Hotel. There.

With that out of the way, I’d like to mention that I expected a slightly older crowd when I walked into Ritual Night Club last Friday. I was surprised by how young the floor was. And predominantly female. It’s encouraging to me that young people are embracing a band like this. Sure, some of Balance and Composure’s melodies are a bit cute. But guess what? So were Kurt Cobain’s when you get down to it.

But on with the show. They opened with “Reflection,” a song from their new record All the Things We Think We’re Missing. The slow tempo of the song set the tone for the rest of their show, which didn’t deviate much from the quiet/loud formula that bands like the Pixies (oops…I name dropped after all) popularized during the late eighties, before Nirvana (again!) ever got the chance to influence bands like this. They then moved through “Parachutes,” one of the faster songs from their highly touted new record. Fans were obviously looking forward to this one, and were grateful to hear it so early in the evening.

They then played a few Separation tracks, before frontman Jon Simmons comically asked the crowd if they minded hearing a song from the new record, which they of course, already had (a few times). I suppose they felt obligated to build “Tiny Raindrop” up a bit, as their latest single. Other highlights from the evening were “Quake” and “Lost Your Name,” which they finished their set with.

I really liked B&C’s 3 guitar arrangement. When one of the guitar players is playing a more intricate part, or when Simmons is focusing on vocals, they have a consistent wall of power chords taking up most of the real estate. I recently saw the word “indie-punk” connected to them online, which must be a result of this aspect of their sound. I disagree. Punk is independent by default, it doesn’t need the extra word affixed to it. And if you were to throw All the Things We Think We’re Missing into a pile of punk-rock records, it just wouldn’t fit. Of course, labels don’t really matter, but I think it’s important for people to have an idea of what they’re showing up for when they head out to a B&C gig.

That said, there is a lot to like about Balance and Composure. They keep their set succinct and powerful, they connect with their fans, they’re down to earth, and their new record rocks. Check them out this Spring, when they tour heavily from April through May.


Comments are closed.