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Album Review

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.


Formed: 2007 in Doylestown, PA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Formed in 2007 after the breakup of two local Doylestown, Pennsylvania bands, Balance & Composure is comprised of Jon Simmons (guitar, vocals), Andy Slaymaker (guitar, vocals), Erik Petersen (guitar), Matt Warner (bass), and Bailey Van Ellis (drums), all of whom were familiar figures on the local indie scene. Developing an effective, muddy, emo, hardcore post-grunge sound, the band released the I Just Want to Be Pure EP in 2008, following it up with another EP, Only Boundaries, in 2009. A debut full-length,...
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Separation, Balance and Composure
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