REVIEW: Balance And Composure – “Separation”

Balance And Composure / Separation / No Sleep Records

Doused in several shades of angst, Balance And Composure’s first full-length is proof alternative punk is shaping something new. The youth of 2011 want nothing to do with cherry-flavoured choruses about first kisses and instead, wrap distress and relatable emotions into a neat little package and hurl it straight towards your face. Separation does just this; it complexes, awes and entraps, letting fixed chords reverberate into an outbreak of grim vocals and drum abusing rhythms (“Quake”). The pace isn’t restless, but it isn’t dull. Lighter takes (“Stonehands”, “Echo”) do sound out of place, but they resonate with musicianship, pressing the talent of each member up against ears until vocalist Jonathon Simmons explodes with his rasp and his range (“Patience”).

It’s Simmons’ lyrical technique that acts as the spine of Balance And Composure. His voice on Separation will ring throughout your head, but his songwriting, an upswing from the Only Boundaries EP, will glue to your conscious. “Keep it inside and swallow whatever it is that keeps you warm,” he yells on “More To Me”, showing his conflicted personality isn’t kept entirely to himself. Distinctively, each member of Balance And Composure let their instruments reflect the same mood in a span of three minutes. It’s what makes the mid-point of album closer “Defeat The Low” remarkable and etches the opening lines of “I Tore You Apart In My Head” into every inch of your cerebrum. Unlike artificial pop gems, the quality and abrasive, personal touch will leave you shattered.

Download: “I Tore You Apart In My Head”, “Quake”


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