With a name like Sacred Balance, this Toronto/Montreal band needed to have something to show to live up to its almost zen-like title. Thankfully, the group doesn’t disappoint on their first effort.
The band’s genre of choice is trip hop, a genre that I was a little unsure about before doing some quick research. The definition isn’t easily described, but as a comparison I would say Sacred Balance is like a more instrument-based version of the Montreal duo Beast, though that’s not a great comparison to make either.
Trip hop usually relies heavily on electronics, and while the EP does have some of that, it isn’t the largest part of the music. The most pleasing (and unexpected) instrument to hear was the violin, which plays a rather substantial part in almost every song.
So what exactly is Sacred Balance? Well, they’re definitely not your traditional rock or pop band. Singer Chloe Charles sings like a more expressive (and female, obviously) Beck Hansen, making the tone of each song completely different from any other song with guitar, bass and drums.
The subject of abnormality is present in a few songs, such as the opening track “Alien In My Bed” which is a disturbing thought just based on the song title. The sense of abnormality is also in the extremely catchy song “The Hole” which seems to be about a man falling through a hole and into some kind of strange hell where he meets himself. Even more unnerving is that this creepy story is told in a call-and-response form, making it sound a little like a campfire song.
The EP can also be divided in half- the latter three songs are all called acoustic, and the distinction is fairly obvious in the two versions of the song “Corrections In Ink” but otherwise it can be hard to differentiate due to the complexity of Sacred Balance’s melodies and instruments.
In the end, the EP triumphs in distinguishing itself from a slew of other Toronto acts. Here’s hoping the band continues to display its penchant for complex song structures coupled with unique vocal deliveries.
The EP is available as of today via Bandcamp.
Top Tracks: “Corrections in Ink”; “The Hole (acoustic)”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)