Hoobastank - Hoobastank

Its a truism that you have to suffer for your art....and I guess as a consumer it rings true as well. For all the gold you'll find there's ten tons of shit to get through to find it. Its not often I listen to the words of Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst but I recall a time when he uttered the words that "Limp Bizkit is just the first phase that will be forgotten and replaced by something that simply blows the world away". In his own mind he may have been thinking Staind, Puddle of Mudd or just one of the few bands he has a financial interest in, but in the public's eyes the best band to come out of America in recent years is the one and only Hoobastank.

Hailing from Cali the music possesses an almost prozac pill popping outlook where even the darkest day has an overwhelming sense of optimism or a light at the end of the tunnel.  While most rock bands are simply content to play up to all the old clichés of suicidal angst and a perversely dark outlook on life (even when they've realized all the dreams they ever imagined), "Hoobastank" is a tale of what every man experiences in his life - lost loves, failed relationships, typical male insecurities - just the day to day realities of living. The single "Crawling In The Dark" opens an album full of philosophical questions (Where am I going? What next? Is there an afterlife?) and ends up answering none of them. But were all the wiser for at least taking 3 minutes of our time to question ourselves and what the future holds. Its a reoccurring theme that takes us from simply questioning our actions to the final track "Give It Back" which simply says i've gave my everything, now its time for you to simply give a little back.

Its an album of contradictions though. An absolute confidence on the outside with a fragile ego on the inside. On "Better" singer and lyricist Doug Robb looks deep in his soul, realizes his weakness but comes back with a retort to an un-named assassin that he'd simply "rather be me than me be you". While "Remember Me" tells the sort of tale which frequents the likes of Jessy Jones or Montell Williams each and every week. The tale of the small town looser who grows up, heads out of town and heads back to the girl of his dreams and says "just look at what you could have had".

With rock bands coming as thick and as fast as manufactured pap pop, "Hoobastank" is a much needed relief from a scene which of late has become tired and clichéd. The premier league of rock music just got a brand new contenders and I guess while Papa Roach and Alien Ant Farm have just been demoted to the first division, Hoobastank are firm favourites for the treble.

Alex McCann

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