Balance and Composure - Acoustic [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Balance and Composure

Acoustic [7-inch] (2012)

No Sleep Records

Balance and Composure has drawn attention as a band that sounds like Brand New or does the post-hardcore thing slightly more clever than others, or sometimes they try too hard. Whatever, I never found any label justified with them, except they kick ass. And I'm not being biased here, but with a seven-inch acoustic split, boiling down to three endearing efforts, it's hard to bash them.

Jon Simmons always kept true to that indie and alternative sound when he decided that Doylestown, Pa., needed some sort of creativity and originality from his words. Only Boundaries and I Just Eant To Be Pure were impressive and Separation, while not living up to my high expectations, still delivered something that wasn't too shabby.

But with these acoustics making a few songs off the aforementioned 2011 album a bit more bare and stripped down, I think they got it just right. It reminded me of the Tigers Jaw split, and again, that's nothing bad by any stretch of the imagination.

"Separation" is as soothing as it gets with so much longing and angst. It's depressing at times, but subservient to that cause of trying to get a little warmth out of the listener. Lines like "I fear that we're losing such / This conversation is dull and is nothing to love / Where's the passion / Diminished, it lays in the past / And I'm distracted / It's taken me this long to grasp" show the emotional rollercoaster of Simmons and these songs match perfectly, and may well even surpass the originals. That's the effect of that heart and soul acoustic.

"Don't say goodbye to me too fast / Even though I'm fast asleep / Try your best to hold onto the past / Wasted it on all me" opens up "Stonehands," and what more can you ask for? It's about putting that fucking heart on the line. It's that clichéd and sometimes trite stuff that prose is made up of, yet here, it somehow works, majestically.

"More to Me" closes out the seven-inch. I liked the original so of course I'm stoked about this acoustic rendition.
This acoustic set is too short and too sweet…multitudes of win!