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Album Review: Balance & Composure - Separation

After releasing several EP's and a split release with Tigers Jaw, Doylestown, PA's Balance and Composure are now ready to unleash their first full-length with 'Separation', a record that surpasses any expectations and sees the band making a huge statement of intent.

Opening up with 'Void' a stirring, atmospheric number that builds to a satisfying melodic pay off and ultimately sets the tone for the rest of the album. The title track kicks in immediately with urgency with Jonathan Simmons' warming and suitable vocals adding to the bands appeal, whilst the bands structured post-hardcore/indie style is shown in a good light. Its a style that is somewhat open and does falter by being too heavy thus allowing the band to sensibly show their melodic side, something that continues throughout the record.

Both 'Stonehands' and 'Echo' have the potential to see the band being compared to Brand New, a slow, airy track that is structurally strong and allows Simmons' honest words space to breathe and be heard. In a similar fashion, 'Fade' comes across as an emotionally driven number that is well paced and as a collective Balance and Composure are superb at drawing a listener in with their abrasive approach.

In contrast 'I Tore You Apart In My Head' is straight to the point and is taken over by the bands radiant energy and overall depth; a hard hitting chorus mixed in with a sensible melodic touch. 'Patience' is also approached in the same way; lyrically compassionate and musically strong. By this point of the record, you realise 'Separation' is a well-rounded collection of songs that thoroughly draws the listener in and constantly keeps their attention.

Whilst 'Defeat The Low' closes the album and brings home the point of how good this album and this band are; occasionally subtly dark, brilliantly crafted and collectively radiant.

With 'Separation', Balance and Composure have certainly stepped up their game and have shown the confidence to stand out from the current emerging Pennsylvania scene. Whilst some tracks may not come as favourable on their own, in the context of this album they help develop and craft the bands style and in conclusion making 'Separation' one of the most notable releases so far this year.


'Separation' by Balance and Composure is released on May 10th through No Sleep Records.

Pre-Order through Banquet Records.

Official Website
Balance and Composure on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

Sean Reid

Alter The Press!