The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Don´t You Fake It

Written by: PP on 13/06/2006 14:21:57

About once every six months if not more often I'm fully ready to turn my back to the emo scene forever due to it being stale, unoriginal and oversaturated, but every time an unexpected savior steps in and reminds me how great and fresh music some of the bands in the genre are capable of writing regardless of the Hawthorne Heights' and the FFAF's dominating the mainstream side of the scene. This time, that savior is The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus with their debut album "Don't You Fake It", which not only restores my faith in the scene but also in the capability of great performance by bands that are on major labels. Yes, this is a major label act, but they sound just like your favorite scene band embraced by the elitists in the AbsolutePunk.net forums which gives them an edge not only over other major label acts, but also over their 'scene'-colleagues as Virgin has already spent an unbeliavable amount of money promoting the debut.

Usually, I would be fairly skeptical over albums whose promotion starts several months prior to the release ("If Only You Were Lonely" anyone?), but after hearing the incredibly good "Face Down" on their Myspace page, I was sold immediately, and couldn't resist the temptation to download the leaked version far before the release date. And at the rate that I'm loving this album over a month after my download, they shouldn't worry about me not buying the album. In fact, I will be the first fan outside of the local HMV waiting to get my hands on the hard copy and the intriguing artwork.

But enough praise already. So what does the album actually consist of? Songs like the opening track "In Fate's Hands" are those in-your-face aggressive upbeat scream/clean dynamics with glimpses of funky, dancefloor drum beats similar to Panic! At The Disco setting the breakneck pace during bridges, and the screams that sound like Emery meets A Thorn For Every Heart aren't used at the end of each line, every other line or in any other ultra cliche way. Some of the songs take extensive use of the volatile screams and actually surprise you with their strength and placement, while other ones like "Waiting" use them sparingly, while still sounding unmistakably like The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

Yes, the band has already created a signature sound, which kind of scares me. When a band is this fucking good on their debut, where they are supposed to be looking for their sound and have a catchy song or two, how unbeliavable will they be once their songwriting leaps forward on their next album. Not that it's a problem at all now, because their insigthtful, acute lyrics don't deal with their girlfriends and /wrists (slash-wrists for the slow ones), but instead deal with deeply serious issues like domestic violence in an intelligent manner. The lyrics throughout the album are flat-out amazing for a band this young, and never cease to spark thoughts and interest in topics you normally wouldn't engage in.

But wait, there's more. The absolutely best part about this album is how each and every song is different in style and structure. Granted, the instrumental arrangements aren't the most technical or creditable kind, but the way the band takes simple configurations and turns them into emo/pop punk Godhood is nothing short of stunning. You'll have the beautiful piano-passages of "Cat And Mouse", the random Motion City Soundtrack-style high-on-life keyboard backings in "Face Down", and on the other extreme you'll have the Chevelle-style alt rock heavy distortion in the seven minute epic closing track "Grim Goodbye", which with its unexpected patches of aggressive screams, that catch me unalert time after time even after months of listening, is close to the best material I've ever heard in this genre.

There are no obvious matches with any specific bands, but hints of influence from bands as varying as The Mars Volta, Fall Out Boy and Thursday can be found here and there, sometimes all of them even on the same track. There are plenty of passages you can easily call pop punk, but some almost cross the boundary of metal, while others approach hardcore and the rest is just a mixture of everything you can possibly imagine to have the slightest connection to the emo-genre at all. "Don't You Fake It" fades the boundaries of all of these genres to create what is about to be in the top3 albums released this year. Don't complain to me if you see them all over the mainstream medias by September - you heard it here first.

9

Download: In Fate's Hands, Grim Goodbye
For the fans of: Emery, Chevelle, Funeral For A Friend, Greeley Estates, Jamisonparker
Listen: MP3s & Streams @ Myspace

Release date 18.07.2006
Virgin

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