Courtesy: A&R Productions/Monarch Records
Veteran emo-punk outfit The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus premiered the video for its latest single this over the weekend. The band debuted the video for its new single, ‘Is This The Real World?’ Saturday. The single is one of the songs featured in the band’s recently released new record The Emergency EP. Released Aug. 28 through A&R Productions/Monarch Records, it came more than seven years after the release of the band’s then most recent EP Et Tu, Brute? and more than two years after the release of the band’s most recent album, The Awakening. The 21-minute record is an interesting new presentation, as proven through its musical and lyrical content. The EP’s new single is just one of the songs that serves to support the noted statements. It will be addressed shortly. ‘Don’t Buy Into It,’ the EP’s third track, is another way in which the record ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment. It will be discussed a little later. ‘Please, Unfriend Me’ is notable in its own right. It will also be addressed later. When it is considered alongside the other songs noted here and the rest of the EP’s entries, the whole of the record proves to be a presentation that will appeal equally to longtime fans of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and those who are less familiar with the band and its body of work.
The Emergency EP, the new EP from The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, is an interesting new offering from the veteran emo-punk outfit. It is a work that will appeal equally to longtime fans of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and those who are less familiar with the band and its body of work. That is thanks to its catchy musical arrangements and its equally accessible lyrical themes. The EP’s new single ‘Is This The Real World?’ is one of the EP’s featured songs that serves to support the noted statements. The musical arrangement featured in this song is an accessible work for a wide range of listeners, what with the juxtaposition of its electronics, guitars, bass, and drums. A close listen leaves one able to make a comparison between this work and those of Linkin Park to a certain point. At the same time, the comparisons to The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ past works are just as easy as are those to works from the band’s contemporaries. To that end, the song’s arrangement makes sure not to alienate its established fan base while also trying something slightly new here. It is just one part of what makes the song stand out. Its lyrical content adds to its appeal.
Front man Ronnie Winter discussed the song’s lyrical theme in a recent interview, pointing out that the song’s lyrical theme is a commentary about the state of the world.
“In this era of augmented reality and ‘deep fake’ secrets – we find ourselves more and more asking the question: ‘Is This The Real World?,” he said. “It can be hard to know what is real and what isn’t nowadays. It’s important to question what we see, especially things posted online – before we rush to judgment. Making sure that the information presented to us is correct and that we aren’t being manipulated for a more nefarious purpose is of utmost importance. Things are being twisted into untruths. We are constantly fed fear, racism and bigotry – which are meant to divide. Division keeps us apart – I want to unite everybody because we can actually do that”.
Winter’s comments are backed up as he sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “I’ve been here before/It’s a familiar stench/Yet intoxicating/You can run for the door/But you can’t hide from yourself/It will always be waiting/Is this the real world?/Cuz I think it’s in need of a Savior/So save her/Is this the real world?/Cuz I think it’s in need of a Savior/So save her.” The message is driven home even more as he sings in the song’s second verse, “Everyone I see wants something from me/Once a slave now free/Augmented reality/I know how this ends/All will lose/None win/I don’t have to pretend it’s reality.” This collective content is certain to engage listeners and generate its own share off discussion among audiences. It is just one of the songs featured in this EP that stands out. ‘Don’t Buy Into It’ is another notable addition to the record.
‘Don’t Buy Into It’ offers listeners a stylistic approach that is unlike that of ‘Is This The Real World.’ Whereas the aforementioned single presents a distinct, familiar emo (almost emocore) style approach, the approach taken in ‘Don’t Buy Into It’ is more melodic and guitar-driven. It pulls an influence from the sounds of the late 80s and early 90s in its guitar arrangements. John Espy’s time keeping is solid while also adding in some nice polyrhythmic patterns across his kit, and bassist Joey Westwood adds his own touch with his low-end. All things considered here, the song’s musical content makes itself one of the EP’s highest points and even the record’s most accessible works. The mainstream appeal of the musical arrangement is just one part of what makes ‘Don’t Buy Into It’ stand out. The song’s lyrical content plays into its appeal in its own right.
Winter talked about the song’s lyrical content in the interview in which he discussed the lyrical content featured in ‘Is This The Real World?’
“These are things that really bother me – with this EP, I’m bringing the fans to the next level,” he said. “I’m saying, “Hey, guys, that’s not enough. If you were with me on ‘Face Down’ (a song about domestic violence), I need you with me on these new songs. Since the beginning of this band, we’ve encouraged people into action for good”.
In the case of this song, he addresses how members of the LGBTQ community are viewed and treated by society as well as how people are treating one another. Additionally, he makes a not-so-veiled statement about the wall that Donald Trump touted as part of his time in office. He leads off the song singing, “I met a boy dressed up like a girl/Someone told him his soul was gonna burn in Hell/I don’t know about you, but I’m not buying into it/They tell me the world has rotted through/Everyone hates everyone/That’s not true/Because we love you and we’re not buying into it/Fear Leads to Anger to Hate to the Darkside so don’t buy in.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “Even when politicians make me sick/Telling people what they cannot do with what God has given them – don’t buy into it/Fear Leads to Anger to Hate to the Darkside/So don’t buy in/Fear Leads to Anger to Hate to the Darkside/So don’t buy in/We say put it up so we can break it down.” This is a rare vantage point to have in such dark times. To that end, many people may well find such a viewpoint inspirational and welcoming, and – to quote Martha Stewart – that’s a good thing. Yes, there will be those who frown and say that Winter and company are dreamers (no that Beatles reference was not intentional), but so be it. The world needs hope now more than ever, and to that end, this message will find itself welcome among plenty of listeners. When it is coupled with the song’s equally upbeat musical arrangement, the whole of the song becomes even more radio ready and appealing. It is just one more example of what makes The Emergency so appealing. ‘Please, Unfriend Me’ is one more of the EP’s strong points.
Unlike most of the songs featured in The Emergency EP, ‘Please, Unfriend Me’ was not written on the band’s tour bus. Rather, this song was crafted this past spring. This song’s arrangement is another work that will appeal just as much to the band’s established fan base as it will to those of Linkin Park if only through its musical arrangement. At the same time, the song’s musical arrangement exhibits its own arrangement that stands out separately from that of ‘Is This The Real World?’ In fact, this song is even more likened to works from Linkin Park than the noted song or any of the EP’s other works. That is due to its much more prominent electronics and keyboards, and their balance with the guitars, bass, and drums. The whole is a work that will connect with plenty of listeners and is just one part of what makes the song unique. Its lyrical theme does its own part to make the song memorable.
The lyrical theme in ‘Please, Unfriend Me’ is not a commentary about social media per se. That is despite the title, which would seem to hint at that. Rather, the title plays on that concept in order to discuss the matter of real versus fake friends in general; those people who say they are friends, but who won’t actually stand by a person when the time comes. This is inferred as Winter sings in the song’s lead verse, “It’s Getting harder for me/Once was up once was down/Truth be told it comes around/You may never see the real me/Ten feet tall with a glass face/Leave my mouth with a bad taste/You may never see the real me/It’s Getting hard.” That seeming message is brought even more into view in the song’s second verse, which states, “Box my ears/Shut my eyes/Cover my mouth/Truth with lies/You may never see the real me/Waive your flag from a high place/Leave my mouth with a bitter taste/You may never see the real me/It’s Getting harder for me/To be myself/And all we know/Is we push on/We hold hope/You will join/It’s Getting harder for me to be myself.” Again, this is just this critic’s interpretation and should not be taken as gospel. Hopefully it is close to being the correct interpretation. Regardless, what Winter has done here is crafted a song that is lyrically engaging and musically entertaining and engaging. When it is considered along with the other songs discussed here and the rest of the EP’s works, the whole of the record shows even more clearly why it is such a positive new offering from The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. They show collectively why this EP will appeal just as much to the band’s established fan base as to newer audiences.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ latest studio recording The Warning EP is a strong new offering from the veteran emo-punk band. It will appeal to a wide range of listeners new and not so new alike. That is due in part to musical arrangements which are themselves quite accessible, as pointed out here already. The record’s lyrical themes will keep listeners just as engaged as they will entertained. That, too, has been pointed out here through an examination of half of the EP’s featured songs. When those songs are considered along with the record’s remaining three songs, the whole proves to be a presentation that holds its own easily with any of this year’s other new EPs. The record is available now. More information on The Warning EP is available along with all of the latest news from The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus at:
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