With razor sharp-precision but enough distortion to drown any silence within the zip code at the right volume, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ “Brace Yourself” begins to envelop us in the warm hum of the amplifiers right from the get-go. The band is moving at a fast and furious pace, but they’re utterly self-controlled in their disbursement of the beats, tones and melodic faceting that will inevitably comprise the backbone of this track. The Emergency EP is on its way this August, but in “Brace Yourself,” The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are sounding the alarm that they’re ready to take on anything and everything getting in their way in 2020. This is a statement song with a lyric video to match, and it’s tailor-made for hard rock tastes.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ music has been streamed over 1.3 billion times online, and those who are wondering why needn’t spend more than a few seconds with the riff-rock lightning in this track to understand what all of the fuss from fans has been about. Where a lot of other alternative rock groups would be quick to muffle the swarthy fretting that provided some of metal’s greatest moments back in the 80’s in their own work, this band does the exact opposite in “Brace Yourself” and come out on the other side of the song sounding more in-touch with the rock aesthetic than most any of their peer-aged contemporaries have in years. They want to rock hard in this track, and last time I checked, that was still a legal act in their part of the world.
Lyrically speaking, this is a very multidimensional piece of material that you could take a lot of different ways, with the most obvious allusions being made to the ongoing crises we’re all made aware of on an almost hourly basis if you keep a cell phone in your pocket. That aside, I like the unguarded approach taken to the narrative as opposed to the typical quasi-retrospective take that a lot of other artists have been employing when trying to address some of the same themes in their music. Rock groups always tackle things differently than anyone else does, and even with that being the case, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are telling us through their indie ethics in the design of “Brace Yourself” that following the pack still isn’t something that holds their professional interest.
“Brace Yourself” ends in a deluge of distorted notes colliding into each other only to leave behind a trail of sparks that doesn’t fade from the air just because the song has come to a conclusion. With all the success they’ve had, some might wonder what The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus have left to prove – and, from my perspective, I don’t think there’s anything other than their durability as a group. Many emo, pop-punk and post-hardcore bands have come and gone on the charts through the years, but this group seems to have remained unchanged by the constant revolving door of the rock world around them. They’ve got my respect, and if they don’t already have it, I think they will earn yours with this latest release and what it represents.