Balance & Composure and Tigers Jaw - Split
Record Label: Run for Cover Records/No Sleep Records
Release Date: May 11, 2010
Usually when bands do a split, there is one band who is bigger and has a larger following than the other. The bigger band provides something of a vessel for the smaller band to get their music out to more of an audience and help them gain some attention. In some cases, I'll get a split, focus on the songs from the band that I like, then completely ignore the other part of the split, maybe listening to the other songs once or twice. Well, in the case of Tigers Jaw and Balance & Composure's split, I'm happy to say that the band that I already adore (Tigers Jaw) guided me into discovering a band that I wish I had known about earlier. Not only have I not ignored Balance & Composure's half of this split, but I've played it in my iTunes almost as much as the Tigers Jaw half.
The first side of the split belongs to B&C, and they kick things off with their rough, raw-sounding indie punk sound that should be welcomed with open arms by fans of Tigers Jaw and many others. "Kaleidoscope" is a song with no limits; foot-stomping drums drive the song, which is highlighted by brilliant vocals and crafty guitar work. The best song offered by Balance & Composure on this split, the opening track will open up the eyes of many new fans right from the get-go. Balance & Composure's other three songs give me a Daisy-ish Brand New sound. For example, the soft parts in "Burden" sound like they could be the little brother of "At the Bottom", while the fiery harder parts in "Twenty Four" may have been borrowed from "Gasoline". This isn't to say that Balance & Composure are ripping anyone off, though. The group definitely have their own unique style and Jonathon Simmons' vocals are distinctive throughout. Balance & Composure don't slow things down with their final song, "Rope", which features the band's best musicianship on this split.
As good as Balance & Composure's half is, Tigers Jaw manage to take the gold with their four songs. "Lodging" is a great track for listeners who have never heard of Tigers Jaw to dive into, as the lengthy, head-bang worthy instrumental portions and infectious vocals take center stage. Tigers Jaw have really settled into their own with relatively clean guitars driven by thumping drums and bass, creating an indie rock sound that leans toward pop punk and isn't easily forgotten. In "Jet Alone", the genius lyricism by Adam McIlwee and Ben Walsh (I wish I knew who wrote this song) is thrust into your ears. "I want to walk all over you like a floorboard / And I want to lie like a politician / And I want to do the things your friends do / Yeah I want to be just like them." That's it. That's the entire song. Most of the two minutes and forty seconds that the song holds to its name is filled with more rocking instrumentals for you to jam out to in your car. Nearing the end of the split, "Danielson" is the song that reminds me most of Tigers Jaw's self-titled debut, with Adam and Ben's vocals shining and Pat Brier's drums keeping the pace while Dennis Mishko's bass and Brianna Collins' keys accompany. Closer "Dent" ends with Adam and Ben belting out "You swore that everything was fine" about a million times, each one leaving a more lasting impression than the one before it. The song is passionate and shows what Tigers Jaw are all about.
The most popular group from Scranton that aren't employed by Dunder Mifflin deserve some more love. If I ran the world then Tigers Jaw would be filling the airwaves and Cap'n Crunch would have its own piece of the food pyramid. They and Balance & Composure put out a heavy hitter this go-round, and I personally can't wait to see what more these groups have to offer.
Note: The score reflected on the side is the average of the scores I rated each band on. Here are the individual ratings.
Okay, No Sleep and Run for Cover. The Wonder Years/Tigers Jaw/Title Fight/Man Overboard/Balance & Composure/Fireworks/I Call Fives tour in the fall. Come to Gainesville and play in my apartment.
But seriously. I'd pay like a hundred bucks for a ticket to that. The talent on these two labels is enormous. Both are backed hard.
Epic tour is epic.
I like this split. I had only heard B&C (Kaleidoscope) on a Run For Cover Records sampler a little while ago. I had also heard Lodging already and loved it so I was pretty stoked for this and I must say, I wasn't let down in the least.
First time hearing Balance and Composure. Really loving every aspect of their sound. It's like Daisy with Vinnie Caruana on vox. "Burden" sort of lifts the riff from "Bought A Bride" pretty hard though, haha.