The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Et Tu, Brute? EP

Written by: PP on 20/05/2013 21:56:46

After a meteoric rise into superstardom with seminal emo/post-hardcore classic "Don't You Fake It", The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus experienced an equally cataclysmic crash-and-burn into obscurity after failing to live up to the brilliance of their debut album with the horrible "Lonely Road" and the almost completely irrelevant "Am I The Enemy" from two years ago. Their whiny post-hardcore vocalist's would-be attempt at writing mainstream rock / hard rock instead of succumbing to the fact that he's an emo vocalist at heart was a disaster, and as such many people now treat TRJA with almost similar disdain as they do Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park, bands which continue to have fans but no-one in their right mind will ever admit to actually liking for the sake of preserving their integrity as fans of music.

But despite their failures on major-label sponsored full-lengths, the EPs released by TRJA have all been quite interesting, even if they haven't received anywhere near the same amount of attention in the process. "The Hell Or High Water" EP from three years ago showcased that the band is indeed still able to write great angsty pop punk with emo-esque melodies that are catchy like the plague, and it seems that this year's EP "Et Tu, Brute?" follows along the same lines.

It's still no "Don't You Fake It'", of course, but a song like "Cards" echoes closely the great melodies of their debut, even adding some gang shouts here for some character (which would almost certainly have been polished out had this been a major label release). Similarly, "You Can't Trust Anyone These Days" adds in a heft amount of screaming that has largely been absent from the full-lengths since the classic, suggesting that when they are given free artistic reign, TRJA can still write great emo songs when it comes down to it.

The screams may not be in a highlight role on the EP, nor do they need to be, because vocalist Ronnie Winter proves he can still write infectious chorus melodies with ease on almost every track of the EP. Opener "The Crazy Ones" sticks to mind immediately, "Wide Is The Gate" is nearly as catchy, and generally the songs sound like they were written by a rejuvenated band who have rediscovered what made them so good in the first place. That they have new guitarists in place of the original crew, one of which is the brother of lead singer Ronnie, may have something to do with the renewed artistic prowess on display here. Although TRJA may still not be the critic's darlings given their distinctly mid 2000s emo sound that's gone out of date a while ago, this EP still proves they have gas left in the tank, and maybe, just maybe, we shouldn't write them off just yet.

Download: The Crazy Ones, Cards
For the fans of: A Heartwell Ending, Evans Blue, Hawthorne Heights, Senses Fail
Listen: Facebook

Release date 15.03.2013

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