The Separation- Retire Your Engines

"The Separation Appear To Be Camera Shy"

Why do so many bands insist on putting “core” in their descriptions of themselves? It adds nothing, as it base term “hardcore” really means nothing, musically. This is why I was confused listening to ‘Retire Your Engines’ by self proclaimed ‘post-hardcore’ band The Separation from Kent. I guess it makes a useful addition to your description of your band, but it does not really give much of an impression of what your band sound like. Personally, I would describe The Separation as prog-influenced-screamo, but that’s just me.

Still, that doesn’t really help you visualise the sound very well, let me try and place it in terms of other bands. Take one part Thursday and mix it well with Fightstar. Them, in a separate bowl, take Coheed and Cambria and fold Rush in well. Take your Coheed/Rush mixture and sprinkle it liberally over the Thursday/Fightstar blend. Garnish with Fugazi and serve The Separated to your hungry listeners. However, maybe the screamo comment is a little too far, as lyrically, they seem to be going against the traditional Emo grain. Take the song ‘The Real Cost Of Our Free Ride’ for instance, featuring the lyrics “The ‘lets get pregnant’ marathon/We’re at our best when we’re left alone/The ‘I hate my parents’ telethon/We’re at our best when we’re left alone”. The Separation seem to be doing well at mocking the emo/screamo sterotypes, at least a little, which is nice to see.

The lyrics are actually well written, bordering on the poetic, though as occasionally lost when the clean vocals take on a whiney or screamy edge. Sadly, this happens a little too often. They are backed by a pinpoint accurate lead guitar line, and bass with a surprisingly pleasant tone, if simple musically. The rhythm guitar chugs along nicely distorted, sitting on top of adequate (if not overly impressive) drums. They go together to form this odd post-hardcore-prog-screamo mix, which despite all the disparate elements comes together as a nicely produced package. Most of the elements have been done better on their own, but personally I’ve never heard anything exactly like it before so would recommend giving it a listen.

7/10

Standout Tracks:

Black Wire

The Distance Between Us

Three Sisters and The Burning Widow

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