EP Review: Balancing Act – Malice In Tone


The Breakdown

An outstanding debut showcasing the bands mature songwriting and exceptional playing
9.5

Balancing Act have released their debut EP ‘Malice In Tone’, produced by East London production duo Sunglasses For Jaws (Miles Kane, Spiritualized), the EP captures the point in time in which the band came together. It’s introspective and confronts the risks and anxieties of leaving home in search of something bigger.

Speaking about the EP, the band says

“It essentially details our move from Manchester to London to pursue this band. It’s about taking risks, it’s about forcing yourself out of your comfort zone, it’s about leaving behind what you know in the hope of finding something bigger.

‘Intro’ as the title suggests acts as an intro for the EP. An instrumental concoction of guitar and synths that lead into the cool and confident track ‘Cold’. Jangling clear notes from the guitar sit over the staccato of the rat-at-tatting drums that lays down a cocky urban beat. The smooth croon from Kai Roberts sits untroubled on top of it all even when the music jumps up a notch on the chorus. The outro is a masterpiece of overdubbed guitars creating a shimmering soundscape.

The band gels musically, which is captured perfectly by the crystal clear production and the superb use of tones and melodies throughout the EP. Particularly from Couzens who hits us with several tone changes in each song, a key to the band’s songwriting mastery.

‘All yours’ has the slick bass throb from David Carpenter leading the track which builds up with layer after layer of Jackson Couzens’s highly impressive guitar work. Coloured with some twinkling synth moments, there’s a swaggering quality underneath the melodic elements, especially with George Le Page’s spot on drumming.

There’s a little bit of Arctic Monkey cool on ‘A Little More Time’ with the steady beat and melodic vocal lines. Couzens just dips in when needed with some melodic runs that sit perfectly within the track. Page keeps the speed stately with his less is more approach to the drums. The interplay between couzens tweedy chorus lead line and Roberts’s vocals is musical heaven.

Keeping things restrained the album ends on two gentle and stately tracks. ‘Gift Shop’ has a spooky fun fair twist and ‘The Saddest Song I Ever Did Write’ is a short simple sung lullaby with Roberts treating us to a whistle over picked acoustic. The dreamy and gloomy brilliance of ‘Gift Shop’ the track has a touch of a funeral march, with bleeding synths and spiralling chord changes. Where as the final track ‘The Saddest Song I Ever Did Write’ rolls along and is the perfect closer to this brilliant debut EP.

It’s as a package that the band excel though, and the thought of changing just one member would run the possibility of ruining it all. Without Page’s spot on technique and Carpenter’s solid delivery the tracks would fall apart. The guys have crafted a sound that’s very much their own, with some genius guitar playing from Couzens and singer Roberts. It’s almost hard to accept this is a debut, such is the maturity and talent within the songwriting.

Check out the bands track All Yours, below:

Find out more via the band’s Website or Facebook

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