Pennsylvania quintet Balance & Composure (singer/guitarists Jonathan Simmons and Andrew Slaymaker, guitarist Erik Petersen, bassist Matthew Warner, and drummer Bailey Van Ellis) demonstrate their abilities in an established rock style with their debut full-length, Separation. That style is emo hardcore, as the band thrashes in a sub-metal mode while the adenoidal singers whine about how disappointing things are and how they don't feel they fit in. ("Galena": "I don't belong here"; "Echo": "The world that I know never had a care for me.") It's a style thoroughly investigated by the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, Taking Back Sunday, and Yellowcard, among others. But all those bands had their breakouts in the mid-2000s, and Balance & Composure is coming along half-a-dozen years later, which is too late to join the pack and too soon for a revival.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann