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The Hell or High Water EP
Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
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Reviewed: 8/31/2010 by Ryan

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Public perception can change even when you don’t do anything. Over half of the music business is about that perception. What works, what doesn’t, what sells, what doesn’t? That’s what hundreds of people around the industry are paid to find out. Careers are born with perception and they’re destroyed by it too. Red Jumpsuit Apparatus is a perfect example of how fickle perception is. They’re last album “The Lonely Road” might have been along the same lines of their first album “Don’t You Fake It” but public perception said the band got too poppy and they’d lost their edge. This had more to do with having a huge single (“Face Down”), then the label working “Your Guardian Angel” to pop radio, then the label giving up on the album entirely after the first few weeks. The label wasn’t the only part of the problem with perception for Red Jumpsuit though… basically it was the perfect storm of things the band couldn’t control that didn’t allow their last album to have the success that their label debut had. Now the band is doing lots of things to get their perception back to how they see themselves… a rock band. They went independent so they’re in complete control of the music and don’t have to hear opinions on what they should and shouldn’t do. And probably best of all, they’ve started to make the music that got their career started in the first place. They’re pushing out their brand of rock featuring that touch of screamo. That sound dominates the six songs on the EP and makes them great to listen to. “Lonely Road” was a bit of everything but it lacked the true fire that “Don’t You Fake It” had. Red Jumpsuit Apparatus is best on songs like “Face Down.” Those songs feature some screaming. The screaming works against a catchy hook in the chorus to make the song fun to listen to. It’s almost like the two styles are working against each other, but in the end they work together. That’s what Red Jumpsuit does best, and that had been lost. This EP is their welcome back to the style that got them their start and a good welcome back at that.

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