The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus really were ahead of the curve when the declared the release of their ‘The Emergency’ EP. Back when certain world leaders were still downplaying the severity of the global situation, the Floridians went full steam ahead on arguing that things had taken a bit of a downward spiral.
Brutal honesty is kind of their brand, though. It’s no surprise that The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus would take inspiration from bad circumstance and make music out of it, especially when there’s so much bad stuff to take your pick from.
‘The Emergency’ comprehensively covers the vast array of terrible things that the world is dealing with: climate change, fake news, prejudice and discrimination, and, of course, COVID-19. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus takes these incohesive topics and threads them together across a musically cohesive record.
‘Brace Yourself’ announced the EP’s arrival back at the beginning of April, coming like a 21st century rendition of Green Day‘s ‘Warning’. All those keep-safe clichéd catchphrases are embedded in the lyrics, but this time they emphasise how, despite the equalising force of a pandemic, the threat has failed to bring any sort of social unity. In ‘Don’t Buy Into It’, the ‘it’ appears to be prejudice sold to the people by those who know how to divide and conquer. Subtlety might not be their forte, but metalcore riffed pop-punk certainly is.
‘Is This The Real World?’ ramps up the heaviness thus far only hinted at, with the first real thrash drummed breakdown. Significant, since it also deals with the frustrations of fake news and augmented realities. It’s succeeded by ‘Please Unfriend Me’, which grapples with social media personas that distance ourselves from our own sense of self. It rounds off the EP with a real burst of energy that might have been nicely shared across the whole record, but you can’t blame them for wanting to ramp it up for the outro.
We might not be seeing anything musically exceptional or new with ‘The Emergency’, but that doesn’t negate its solid contribution to The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus‘ discography. It’d be nice if we didn’t have to turn to an emo band for grounded political commentary, though, however valid the concerns that they raise are.