Red Jumpsuit Apparatus CD Review - March 2009

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Lonely Road
By Brandon Goulding
One part INXS + two parts Blink-182 + a quarter of Fall Out Boy = Red Jumpsuit Aparatus. Lonley Road, RJAs second studio album, blends solid guitars, distinguishable vocals, and catchy melodies into a enjoyable pop-punk mochachino, with just a hint of high-school targeted lyrics.
Let’s start right from the beginning with the first track, “You Better Pray.” With an intro that is reminiscent of “thunderstruck,” this song is definitely a good representation of the tone of the album – moderately heavy guitar licks, very solid drumming, and surprisingly good vocals.
One place where RJA has excelled where other pop-punk bands have failed is their diversity. At first listen most of the songs may sound the same, but the use of driving palm-mutes in songs like “Pen and Paper,” the ridiculously catchy melody in the chorus of “Step Right Up,” and the pinch harmonics in the intro of “Pull Me Back” help separate RJA from fall-by-the wayside bands like Boxcar Racer. The band also shows a more vulnerable quality in the title track, “Lonely Road,” which is soft but still has a great drive to it.
Don’t let the guitar licks and drums fool you too much though, these guys are still poppy, and seem to play to a highschool demographic; which is clearly evident in the lyric of “Senioritis,” a song about senior year of highschool. “Skip class, take chances, have fun. ‘Cause when it’s over it is done” – not the hardest hitting lyrics I’ve heard.
While RJA may have lyrics that are definitely to be taken at face value, Lonely Road as a whole is quite enjoyable. However, it does suffice to say that, in a world where bands like Good Charlotte or Simple Plan become immensely successful, RJA might just get thrown 2 for $10 bin alongside Blink.

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