Review – Kenny Bissett – The Balancing Act

Kenny Bissett is an artist, producer, and songwriter in San Antonio, Texas. He is currently the vocalist for the San Antonio Progressive Rock band, Built for the Future. For his solo work, Kenny writes, arranges, and produces each song, and plays guitars, bass, and synthesizers. Kenny also creates and programs drum tracks for his songs. ‘The Balancing Act’ is an album inspired by the idea that we each need to determine what we should keep in our lives, and what we should drop from our lives. Balance.

Sometimes you just want to listen to music that is unpretentious and does exactly what it says on the tin (so to speak). Kenny’s music fits that purview perfectly, the energetic and dynamic guitar and well balanced drum tracks drive the songs on, the bass and synths given a structured framework for everything to work in and his vocals are powerful and compelling.

While on tracks like opener Radiate and Holding Pieces there is a definite Rush comparison (which, by the way, is no bad thing!), the general vibe of the album is less heavy than the Canadian power trio’s signature sound. It’s more akin to Geddy Lee’s oft forgotten wonderful solo album, 2000’s ‘My Favourite Headache’ and this can be heard on the elegant Wake Up with its laid back, urbane feel and the gossamer thin delight of Life and Time, a properly refined and cultured piece of music that shows the intelligence of the musician at its core.

We venture into retro pop-punk with the funky, upbeat edginess of Human Nature, a really vibrant song that gets stuck in your head and even 80’s dark-synth pop with the wonderful pastiche of Imposter Syndrome. This album keeps throwing up surprises at every turn and keeps putting a smile on your face, take the wistful dreamy nostalgia of Lost and Found, a really cool song that never outstays its welcome.

The harder edge returns with the jangling guitars of Balancing Act, there’s almost a stadium rock feel to its expansive soundscape and it brings to mind Gary Numan at the height of his powers to me. Now to my favourite track on this impressive release, Alive is one of those excellent, slow burning songs that builds with layers of potent and forceful energy. The heavy riffing and pulsing rhythm mesmerising and hypnotic, it’s a really anthemic piece of music that just gets under your skin. The album closes with the chiming guitars and reflective musings of Brief Mortal, a song that is almost spiritual in atmosphere and delivery, a suitable introspective end to a very clever record.

Kenny Bissett has delivered a very impressive solo release indeed. Thoughtful and reflective songwriting, combined with some rather impressive musicianship has given us one of the surprise releases of the year and one that deserves a much wider audience!

Released February 2nd, 2022.

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The Balancing Act | Kenny Bissett (