AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
 
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - The Hell or... Album Cover

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - The Hell or...

Reviewed by
4.4
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - The Hell or High Water EP
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: August 24, 2010
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
The demise of a band is something that is challenging to write about. How does one get readers engaged in a review about a release that isn't worth listening to? It's certainly not the easiest task to tackle, and I find myself in this predicament when writing about The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus' Hell or High Water EP. The group's debut full-length, Don't You Fake It, was the soundtrack to many of my boring days of summer after sophomore year of high school. Filled with well-placed screams alongside smooth melodies by then-talented vocalist Ronnie Winter, the Florida quintet were paced by quality guitar work and good but simple lyrics. I eagerly anticipated their next release, then Lonely Road let the air out of the potential of this band, falling flat with only two tracks worth much of anything.

As their first release since parting ways with Virgin Records, The Hell or High Water EP picks up right where Lonely Road left off in the disappointment category. While the instrumentation still has some worth, especially the guitar work, Winter's vocals are at times unbearable . The screams are mind-bogglingly bad in some spots and his melodies have turned sickeningly sweet with time. Opener "Casting the First Stone" exemplifies a bit of each of these drawbacks, starting with a strange verse that shows shades of one of the worst tracks on Lonely Road, "You Better Pray".

A well-constructed guitar line carries "Choke" and the listener thinks things might be picking up a little with a more Don't You Fake It-centered sound. However, the track never really hits a high point and the lyrics are weak. Poor lyrics become a bit of a theme on the record, as "Don't Hate" has the gem of "You can do you / 'Cause Im'ma do me / And there's not a damn thing you will achieve." Absolutely invigorating. The title track and "Will You Stand" delve into new definitions of the term 'futility' in respect to gang vocals.

Where is the band that wrote "The Grim Goodbye" and "Atrophy"? Everything on this EP is worse than Red Jumpsuit's previous releases, including the production, proving that Winter should stick to the microphone and leave the behind-the-boards work to others. "On My Own", which was streamed for a day here on AP.net, proves to be a standout, if you can call it that. In the end, this really just speaks volumes about the quality of the other songs, with closer "21 And Up" being the worst offering.

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus went for a grand slam here, perhaps in an attempt to get Lonely Road out of the minds of some old fans. They attempted a more aggressive angle, but instead of reverting back to the roots that made them immensely popular at one time, they seemingly have incorporated an embarrassing southern rock style into their sound that fits in like a werewolf at the vampire table. On the bright side, after the swing-and-a-miss that is The Hell Or High Water EP, this band have nowhere to go but up.

Recommended If You LikeA fusion between Nickelback and Don't You Fake It?
Follow Me On TwitterI get into amusing arguments with users that hate staff members.
Bare Essentials1. Casting the First Stone
2. Choke
3. Don't Hate
4. Hell Or High Water
5. Will You Stand
6. On My Own
7. 21 And Up
Star Rating: 0.5 out of 5 stars
Produced By: Ronnie Winter, Run Time: 23 minutes
Myspace
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 201
04:57 AM on 09/06/10
#2
aradiantsunrise
i get what i want
Offline
User Info.
aradiantsunrise's Avatar
Can't believe how irrelevant this band has become.
06:48 AM on 09/06/10
#3
Akissforher
City Love
Offline
User Info.
Akissforher's Avatar
Can't believe how irrelevant this band has become.

I can. Seeing them live absolutely killed it for me.
06:55 AM on 09/06/10
#4
ljmorris
...
Offline
User Info.
ljmorris's Avatar
forced to watch these dudes at soundwave a few years ago before DEP so bad.
07:32 AM on 09/06/10
#5
2LW
I'm starting to decompose
Offline
User Info.
2LW's Avatar
I don't get what the twitter drop was for, but I lol'd. Such a shame these guys went downhill.
07:34 AM on 09/06/10
#6
Ryan Gardner
Offline
User Info.
Ryan Gardner's Avatar
Looks like I won't even be checking this out. I couldn't even listen to Lonely Road even after loving DYFI.

Good review, Thomas.
07:46 AM on 09/06/10
#7
trappedintime
Yea, you were right about me
Offline
User Info.
trappedintime's Avatar
RIP RJA

x
07:49 AM on 09/06/10
#8
introduction
You're not real musician!
Offline
User Info.
introduction's Avatar
I never saw anything special about the band in the first place, but I agree that the southern sound they seem to be going for lately is slightly bewildering.
08:27 AM on 09/06/10
#9
vivatoto56
Welcome to Christmasland
Offline
User Info.
vivatoto56's Avatar
I guess I'm the black sheep.

I enjoyed this EP, at least for a few days.
09:06 AM on 09/06/10
live.
Feenay! Fee hee hee hee heenay!
Offline
User Info.
live.'s Avatar
2009 AOTY. Oh wait...
09:20 AM on 09/06/10
natedoggvb
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
natedoggvb's Avatar
Biggest disappointment waiting all day to see them at Warped. Terrible live. Their first release still reminds me of that summer every time i hear a song from it. Their other stuff makes me throw up in my mouth a bit.
09:50 AM on 09/06/10
Young Machetes
Wasteland Explorer
Offline
User Info.
Young Machetes's Avatar
I can. Seeing them live absolutely killed it for me.
I've sadly had to sit through four live sets of theirs. Thankfully, they performed one of their sets well, around the time they were popular on the radio a few years ago.

The subsequent times, they were absolutely terrible. I don't know what happened to this band, The Grim Goodbye was such a good song.
10:01 AM on 09/06/10
Echo Park
Offline
User Info.
Echo Park's Avatar
i totally understand when a band makes a great first LP and then fizzles out after that. Many have done it, but maybe not to such an extreme: Finch, TBS, AVA, DGD, Hoobastank, Unwritten Law, Story of the Year, ok maybe some have done it to such an extreme. The problem is they're no longer in the same mindset that made them write their first LP, and unfortunately I don't see them doing it again.
10:22 AM on 09/06/10
cubine
www.facebook.com/truthunderattack
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
so is this an even steeper downhill slide than Fight Fair had?
10:23 AM on 09/06/10
jaredohgren
I'm just an artist on a shelf.
Offline
User Info.
jaredohgren's Avatar
i totally understand when a band makes a great first LP and then fizzles out after that. Many have done it, but maybe not to such an extreme: Finch, TBS, AVA, DGD, Hoobastank, Unwritten Law, Story of the Year, ok maybe some have done it to such an extreme. The problem is they're no longer in the same mindset that made them write their first LP, and unfortunately I don't see them doing it again.
DGD as in Dance Gavin Dance?
Because they didn't really fizzle out. All of their releases are good and different from each other and they haven't really lost their fan base.

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
AP.net Podcast on iTunes
UnderTheGun
Purevolume
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate