I was first introduced to Red Jumpsuit Apparatus a couple months ago when they were the opening act at a 30 Seconds to Mars concert I attended. Sometimes it's hard to fully enjoy or appreciate music when you hear it the first time live, especially when it's loud and pounding music and the venue you're in is an old converted warehouse.
This was not the case with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. From the moment they took the stage; I knew there was something unique about this very young group of guys and something compelling about the music they were performing. When they announced they were newly signed to Virgin records and their first CD would be coming out this summer, I knew I would be adding Don't You Fake It to my collection.
The first single, "Face Down," is an emotional hard driving song about domestic violence. The video was released to MTV2 (both on channel and online) on June 5th. The song conveys the intense emotional conflict through the musical composition and the scathing lyrics lay it on the line. The chorus sings, "Do you feel like a man, when you push her around? Do you feel better now as she falls to the ground?"
Song writer and lead singer Ronnie Winter says about the song,
Where I come from, you see it when you go to the store, you see it when you stop for a smoke, you see it all the time. It's something everybody sees and doesn't do anything about because they're just so accustomed to it. I was the same way and I was a victim of it. So the best way I could think to get people to not make the same mistake I did was to write about it.
But what is so unique about Red Jumpsuit Apparatus is they can go from a hard driving track to a sensitive power ballad like "Guardian Angel." The song has Winter exposing a soft and vulnerable side pleading his commitment and love. Completely unexpected from a band of this genre is the soothing and full sound of the bass that mourns softly with the delicate background vocals.
Also on the soft and poignant side is "Cat and Mouse." As with all the songs, deep meaningful emotions are addressed. Winter's voice is powerful and clear, and the music is beautifully melodic. The poetic lyrics speak of the darker side of relationships and the emotional game playing that can go on between couples.
But don’t let these two tracks let you forget Red Jumpsuit Apparatus at its heart is a hard hitting alternative/emo group. All the proof you need is in tracks like "Seventeen," with its prominent rhythm lines; "Damn Regret" with its screaming guitar riffs; and "Grim Goodbye," a seven minute epic song combing both the rhythm and guitars and adding vocals that are screamed some points and sorrowfully whispered at others, in between the intense extremes is a hauntingly dark melody.
At its heart, Don't You Fake It is an emotionally driven, masterfully written, and energetically delivered collection of songs that show the diversity of this young band. The CD will be available July 18, and the first single, "Face Down" is making its debut to radio and MTV2 this month. The band's website and Myspace profile contains streaming MP3s, news, and upcoming tour information.
Red Jumpsuit Apparatus is a Blogcritics Featured Artist for June. In the coming weeks we will have an interview with the band as well as a few other surprises.