The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Don't You Fake It

Y'know, a few weeks ago I found myself a couple of feet away from Christopher Lloyd. The very same Christopher Lloyd who played Dr Emmett 'Doc' Brown in the Back To The Future series of movies. I am undecided as to whether this chance meeting has had any bearing on the fact that I am now reviewing an album by the interestingly named Florida postpoppunkscreamo outfit The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus that was released two years ago and has sold over one million copies in the US alone.

Produced by David Bendeth (Paramore; Killswitch Engage; In Flames) the guts of 'Don't You Fake It' lie firmly in the body of modern teen alternative rock but it has a spine that is pure melodic rock, leaving a window of accessibility for those who find ourselves further away from teens than a certain Mr Paul Gadd has been for some time. Album opener 'In Fate's Hands' is one of a clutch of tracks, the likes of which I would expect to see bookending Madina Lake videos on the Kerrang music channel - watched, of course, in the hope that a mischievous work experience kid has chucked the 'Blow Your Speakers' video by Manowar into the mix, just for fun. These songs are a fusion of Paramore's hope and The Used's angst. Then the song 'Face Down' introduces the album to the joys of melodic rock. Sure, it is the kind of melodic rock pumped out by good looking young bastards in bands like The All-American Rejects, but this injection of melody is as uplifting as jet boots. The tunes come thick and fast - like a sushi train with its underwear showing - and we get hints of Californian college rockers Eve 6 and power poppers 40ft Ringo. Quite how I have managed to namecheck former members of Trixter in this review is both a gift and a curse.

While the pop rock sensibilities of the band open them up for universal appeal, their real strength lies in a couple of subtle tunes - 'Cat And Mouse' and 'Your Guardian Angel' - that would revel in the soundscape of an independant movie soundtrack. The band have been featured on the soundtracks to the movies Saw IV and Employee Of The Month but this is as far away from what I mean as Lee Harvey Oswald was from the sixth floor of the book depository warehouse. My honest thoughts are that a recent acoustic tour would have been the perfect time to see The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

by Gaz E.

Visit the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Website