Music Review Tuesday – The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

09 Jan

Today I am reviewing another new, up and coming, band. I had not heard of this band until I heard them on the local college radio station. The song I heard impressed me so much that I had to seek for more of their music. Of course a serious search was never initiated until a conversation with my youngest daughter, Crysta, about music revealed that she liked this band too. That conversation coupled with Crysta getting me an iTunes gift card for Christmas prompted me to use it to download The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus album. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus was formed in 2003 and are based out of the Jacksonville, Florida area. You will have to admit like me that one of first things I wanted to know about the band is how did they come up with the cool band name. According to a couple of web sources the name was derived by placing random words on the wall and a blindfolded band member selecting three words. So we have The “Red” “Jumpsuit” “Apparatus”.

Their debut album “Don’t You Fake It” was released July 18th, 2006 and has sold well over 1 million copies in the U. S. alone. The album begins with a hard rockin’ song which contains the album title in the song’s chorus. The song is called “In Fate’s Hands” and it starts the album with a nice head-banging rhythm with some not-so-subtle screaming vocals stating:

Shake it, break it, get off your feet,
come dance with me and don’t you fake it.

The guitars rock your face off. The next track is “Waiting” and is a simple rock and roll song coupled with the typical young man searching for meaning in life and trying to break from a depressing, monotonous life. The lyrics to the next song “False Pretense” are more sophisticated and speak about being careful what you take seriously, because it just might be built on a false pretense. The next track is the band’s hugely popular song called “Face Down”. The music is a fast paced rhythm with a great guitar sound. It also contains pinch harmonics and pick scrapes. It’s almost old school. The lyrics are very mature. Here is the chorus:

Do you feel like a man
when you push her around?
Do you feel better now as she falls to the ground?
Well I’ll tell you my friend, one day this world’s going to end as your lies crumble down, a new life she has found.

The album highlights are “In Fate’s Hands, the ever popular “Face Down” which is quickly becoming the song for a generation tired of self-absorbed, dysfunctional, people who mistreat each other, the slower “Cat and Mouse” which is a song about the elusiveness of contentment, “Damn Regret” begins with high toned riff on guitar that I really like and the rhythm throughout the song is totally awesome, “Atrophy” is another short rockin’ song about longing for a young heart that felt alive, and not one that has settled for… , “Justify” is musically a typical palm-muted rhythm rich song that works very well with the rich, full, guitar sound, and lyrically speaks profoundly of folks who are constantly trying to justify their hypocrisies. Ok, I am sometimes a sucker for a good ballad and “Your Guardian Angel” is one of them. The chorus sings of this:

I will never let you fall (let you fall)
I’ll stand up with you forever
I’ll be there for you through it all (through it all)
Even if saving you sends me to heaven

The album is full of the typical young band trying to find and establish itself as a serious rock band. But it definitely works with “Don’t You Fake It”. The album is a popular one with folks between the ages of 15 and 25 because the lyrics relate to them on a personal level. I can relate to attitude of the songs. It hasn’t been that long, has it? Musically the punchiness of the rhythm in the songs and the subtle screaming that has been popular for a few years really works for me with this band. I do not normally like the bands who constantly scream the lyrics throughout. How much talent does that take, and how durable are you going to be as a vocalist? I give “Don’t You Fake It” by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus four stars out of five.

Check out the video for “Face Down”.


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