"For(N)ever" (Island Records; 2009)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This disc saw a few hits, like "My Turn" and "I Don't Think I Love You Anymore." The latter was highlighted in the Transformer movie "Revenge of the Fallen.
There are some good solid tunes on "For(N)ever" but I felt a lot of it didn't have very much heart. This was also the first disc without their long time bass player, Markku Lappalainen, and that may have taken some of their steam.

Most of the cuts on this disc have great guitar and Doug Robb's voice is still the power behind the band. I guess I was hoping for more because I know what they use to bring to the table. But expectations aside, "For(N)ever" is still a great disc that keeps the Hoobastank wheels turning.

For more information check out http://www.hoobastank.com.

"Every Man for Himself" (Island Records; 2006)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

“Every Man For Himself” is the third Hoobastank studio release. This CD has them back as a trio but minus one doesn’t mean the sound isn’t as full as before. Hoobastank’s lead singer, Douglas Robb, almost sounds like Incubus’s lead vocalist on a few cuts; he comes close a couple of times, but he usually just holds the notes and the feeling disappears. I have heard all of Hoobastank’s releases and I can tell they have matured musically.

The punchy guitar is still the focus of each track. You can easily pick the songs that will be on the concert set list. The drums crunch with the guitar and that hammers the music along; a few horns are added for variety. Hoobastank are virtually safe for all 18 and under parties; the pop sound emerges on “The First Of Me” and it's got Top 40 written all over it and into it.

Since I’ve been on the Hoobastank train I can see the potential they have to really lead among their peers. Maybe discarding a member will cause a stir that causes them to step it up a notch. The music is maturing, the vocals are getting better and the songwriting seems to be searching more and more. I’d like to see these guys rise above the labels they’ve so comfortably let people stick on them.

This disc was released with two different color covers: a red and a green latent print. I have the red thumbprint but I don’t think it really means anything.

The best songs are “Born To Lead,” “Inside Of You,” “Good Enough,” and “If I Were You.” 

Hoobastank: Douglas Robb – vocals; Dan Estrin – guitar; Chris Hesse – drums. 

For more information, check out http://www.hoobastank.com.

"The Reason" (Island Records; 2003)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

I think a lot of people know this disc for just one track, the title track, but there are other killer songs on this disc as well. "The Reason" was mixed by Chris Lord-Alge who has mixed albums from artists ranging from 3 Doors Down to Underoath -- that's quite a range! The songs on this second offering are just as heavy as the first. The guitar is punchy and, when it grinds down, it has a great post-grunge sound. I've always dug Hoobastank's guitar sound.

Doug Robb does a lot of voice distortion on this disc. He still sings a lot but I found a lot of the cuts having a unique vocal touch. The second track, "Out Of Control," has two voices from Lost Prophets lending their vocal anger, making it a stand out cut. The music on "The Reason" may not have the same fire that their first self-titled album did but it still has songs that deserved more radio play, especially "What Happened To Us," "Just One," and "Let It Out."

Hoobastank: Doug Robb - vocals; Dan Estrin - guitars; Makku Lappalainen - bass; Chris Hesse - drums.

For more information visit their website at http://www.hoobastank.com and their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Hoobastank.

"Hoobastank" (Island Records; 2001)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is the second full-length release from Hoobastank but is really the first major release when you think of where they really started. The first track, "Crawling in the Dark," blasts right in and sets the tone for some fuzzy and melodic guitar rock. Other notable and downloadable tracks include "Remember Me," "Running Away," "Pieces," and "Give It Back." Doug Robb has a great voice and you can sing along with each track (which is my guilty pleasure).

As you listen to Hoobastank you can hear Incubus coming through. It's almost an exact mirror at times. And, hey, I'm not dissing the Hoobs for this: I'm giving them a shout out -- this stuff rocks! The guitar of Dan Estrin is melodic yet tough. He's got some nasty riffs and each song has a snarling hook so you can marvel at his gitfiddle giddiness. This disc started their quest and you can always use a little Hoobastank to get your day started.

Hoobastank: Doug Robb - lead vocals; Dan Estrin - guitar; Makku Lappalainen - bass; Chris Hesse - drums.

For more information, check out: http://www.hoobastank.com.

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.

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Revised: 11 Oct 2021 20:43:54 -0400 .