"Lonely Road" (Virgin; 2009)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

The first single from "Lonely Road" is entitled "You Better Pray" and, if you listened to their first disc, you might think that they changed lead screamers because Ronnie Winter did not display this type of vocal range before ... but he does now. My favorite line from the song is; "You think the war is over, I've only shown you the tip of the iceberg." That’s clever writing.

RJA still have that alternative sound mixed with the Emo screams but I think they rock harder with this disc than before. I can sure tell a difference just due to the vocals and guitar. There are some newer sounds on this disc as well, echoes in the vocal department, more drums on the less rockin' tracks and lots of chord changes to keep it interesting. They do have some songs that don't punch as hard and they alternate them beginning with track two. Those are still good tracks and instead of putting them at the end they nestle them within the disc.

Every now and then the guitar will have a solo moment. Personally, I'd like to hear more six string bending in the future from these guys. Band Hero which was adapted for the Nintendo DS Lite, released the single "You Better Pray" for Tap Tap Revenge so now your kids can sing along with your mix CD. The title of the CD comes courtesy of track #9; it’s a slow starting track but it picks up. It also has some great soul sounding background vocals.

Download these: "You Better Pray," "Pen & Paper," "Pull Me Back," "Step Right Up," and "Pleades and Postcards."

RJA: Ronnie Winter – lead vocals, guitar; Duke Kitchens – guitar, backing vocals; Joey Westwood – bass, backing vocals; Jon Wilkes – drums, backing vocals; Elias Reidy – guitar, backing vocals.

For more information, check out

"Don't You Fake It" (Virgin; 2006/2007)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

I first heard The Red Jump Suit Apparatus one morning when their single, "You Better Pray," came blasting through the speakers courtesy of Z-104.5 The Edge in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (The aforementioned single comes from the sophomore disc "Lonely Road" -- see review above). After that, I waited for the clock to tick down so I could dash home and visit iTunes to see what else they had on disc. This is their debut CD and it's full of alternative, emo and pop punk tracks. Fans of Hoobastank will gravitate towards these guys. This disc has tough guitar riffs and little solo bursts along with guitar harmonics on a few songs.

The vocals are pop punk with some emo screaming on the accents. There is a fair balance between the clean vocals and the emo element so it's quite palatable. The first song, "In Fate's Hands," has a verse that titles the album, in case you were wondering. You may have noticed there are two release dates listed. They first released this disc in 2006 and then re-released in 2007 as a deluxe disc that came with a DVD. The deluxe disc has a couple of extra songs on it, and the DVD has the videos they released as singles and some behind the scenes footage. They also include some tour footage titled "On the Road with RJA."

I've got both their albums because their sound is tight. They climbed to #25 on the Billboard 200 with this disc. Give RJA a listen. They have been featured on a few movie soundtracks and their music has also been used on a couple of video games. Even wrasslin' gives 'em a nod when it comes to those big buck PPV's.

These songs don't fake it: "In Fate's Hands," "False Pretenses," "Face Down," "Atrophy," "Justify," and "Grim Goodbye" (hidden track).

RJA: Ronnie Winter – lead vocals; Duke Kitchens – lead guitar, backing vocals; Elias Reidy – rhythm guitar, backing vocals; Joey Westwood – bass, backing vocals; Jon Wilkes – drums, backing vocals.

For more information, check out

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to Home

Copyright © 2011 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03 Jun 2024 13:03:50 -0400.