The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus has one of more unique and original names in music today. Basically, the Florida quintet randomly picked three arbitrary words and – voila! – their band name was born. Unfortunately, that’s where most of their originality ends. With their Virgin records debut, Don’t You Fake It, RJA dives headfirst into the overcrowded pool of generic pop-punk bands. Produced by David Bendeth, these twelve tracks show glimpses of a potential, but for the most part, they blend in with the same noise I hear on Fuse and MTV everyday.
The album kicks off with the powerful punch of “In Fate’s Hands” and a scream from vocalist Ronnie Winter and instantly Hawthorne Heights comes to mind. Basically, it’s a song that grabs your attention immediately, but it’s a song that gave me false hope. “Waiting” shows the melodic side of the band, but offers nothing new to the table. One of the better tracks is “Face Down,” the first single that has been getting heavy airplay on TV. I respect the lyrics of this song, as they are about domestic abuse and the hook is obnoxiously catchy. RJA also tries its hand at a ballad, with the soft “Cat And Mouse,” a track that reminds me of Cartel’s use of harmony and melody, as it is worth noting that Winter has a pretty good voice. After this song, though, the album goes downhill into mediocrity. “Atrophy” sounds like a b-side from If Only You Were Lonely, while “Seventeen Ain’t So Sweet” and “Justify” take cues from other bands in their scene and mashes them together. “Your Guardian Angel” is an admirable attempt at another dramatic ballad, but instead runs too long and kills the little flow that this album possessed. Though, the final track, “Grim Goodbye,” really shows the potential of this band and what they could do if they put more trust in their sound instead of what is popular right now. A track that spans over 7 and a half minutes, it’s heavy and emotional, building up to the climatic closing out. If you are going to check out one song from this band, at least check this one out, as it is heads and shoulders above the rest of the album’s tracks.
In the end, Don’t You Fake It misses the mark and just falls back into the crowd. Other than a few standout tracks, this album offers nothing to the listener other than a catchy 45 minutes, but after two or three listens, even that becomes too much. Yet, because of the final track of the album, I am not going to write off The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus just yet. But, as for know, I would only recommend this album to those who are fans of Hawthorne Heights, Yellowcard, and Cartel, but “Grim Goodbye,” “Cat and Mouse,” and “Face Down” are worth your 99 cents at the iTunes store. If the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus can mature and grow into their own sound and build off of their strong tracks, then they’ll be a band worth talking about in the future. As for now, they are just another band trying to stay afloat.
i dont think the album is as bad as you said it is... yes, it is very cookie cutter pop-punk, but it does do some unique things within that genre to make them stand out a bit... i still listen to this cd even though ive had it since like may, its worth a listen people