CORPORATE LINE: What’s in a name? Well, it depends who came up with it. In the case of Middleburg, Florida quintet The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, it might mean anything.
Strange then that The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus means…absolutely nothing. “It’s 100 percent completely arbitrary,” laughs singer Ronnie Winter. “When we started the band, we only cared about having a good time and writing good songs far more than coming up with some symbolic, incredibly intelligent name.”
“I think it’s funny when bands scramble their brains to try and come up with some unique, untouchable band name,” adds guitarist Elias Reidy. “Why waste time thinking of something when we could be concentrating on music instead? The locals loved it, so we went with it.”
A brief listen to The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ debut and it’s obvious that these boys have spent a lot of time concentrating on their music. Their songs are flush with the determination, hunger and energy of youth (the average age in the band is 21). And while they tap into elements of pop-punk, pop, screamo, and metal, they combine them in a way that’s both surprising and invigorating.
Winter and Kitchens formed The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus in 2003 just for kicks. For 18 months they wrote and rehearsed with no real intention of playing shows or recording an album. When some friends who heard them jam suggested they play out, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus started booking gigs and were immediately embraced by the local scene. “We played this place called The Art Bar twice, and the second time we played it, we sold it out,” Winter says.
Encouraged by the response, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus contacted the owner of a local studio to see if they were ready to start recording. When the response was a resounding yes, they recorded their first EP, using it to promote themselves wherever they could – online and at local concerts, high schools, colleges, malls, beaches and other locations across Florida.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus entered the studio last year with producer David Bendeth, who has previously worked with Hawthorne Heights and Breaking Benjamin.
There may have been a time when they didn’t know if they were ready to be heard, but those days are gone, and now they’re eager to tour the world and beyond with the conviction that, when your music speaks so eloquently, who cares what’s in a name?
“Cat And Mouse” – Being a sucker for tender tracks, this is one of the better tracks that Red Jumpsuit Apparatus has to offer.
“Face Down” – This song about domestic violence would have been more poignant in more capable hands.
“False Pretense” – Isn’t great—but good enough to singing along to.
“Waiting” – Monotonous punk-pop.
“In Fate’s Hands” – Everything is okay until the chorus comes with a groaning that sounds like the Exorcist singing.
“Justify” – The attempt at being both a pop rock band and Korn doesn’t work.
FRANKLY: The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ Don’t You Fake It recycles so many other bands that it’s nearly impossible to enjoy. Nothing about The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus will make someone want to run out and buy the album.
+ Rae Gun