The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus follow in the vein of bands like Amber Pacific and Sum 41. The band blends punk and emo music to create something that is hard hitting while still being tremendously melodic. There is also a smart use of arrangements during tracks like “Face Down” to allow for the band to change gears quickly and accurately. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus even throws a little bit of new hardcore screaming in tracks like “Face Down”. To say that the band is a one chord wonder is to sell them well short of their talent level.
The hard drum hits of “In Fate’s Hands” are matched well by the bass lines that immediately follows them. It is during this track that the diversity of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus acts more like a straitjacket than anything. To have that same brand of hardcore singing is just a bad idea with how smooth the rest of the track is, especially considering the all-out chorus that presents itself a few moments later. The band can insert new rock guitar arrangements in the track to have it work, but it is these incongruous additions of things like the hardcore brand of singing that show The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus as a band that is still human.
“Cat and Mouse” is The Red Jumpsuit’s slower song, and it shows that they can do as well with the slower songs as well as they can with the faster ones. There are actually some substantive lyrics during this track, so the band strays away for oh-so-pitiful Simple Plan style. During “Don’t You Fake It”, the band throws together a number of styles and does so in a way that rivals even bands like The Used for being able to touch off styles rapidly. The band seems to settle down during the last half of the disc, and there is more than enough material for the average listener to stick with the band until the band can get into their stride. There are a few moments on “Don’t You Fake It” where the band seems to be without a clear vision of what would be the best decision of them, but for the vast majority of the disc the band makes the best and strongest decisions. The band can and I believe will improve their general sound for albums in the future, so make sure to get this album and stick with the band until they can recognize their full talent.
Top Tracks: Atrophy, In Fate’s Hands
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus – Don’t You Fake It / 2006 Virgin / 11 Tracks / http://www.redjumpsuit.com / http://www.virginrecords.com / Reviewed 12 August 2006