Hoobastank Label: Island
The latest in a recurring string of "here today, gone tomorrow" 1990s Alt/Rap/Metal bands has surfaced in the form of Southern California's Hoobastank. Yes, Hoobastank! With overwhelming influence from last decade's Faith No More and this decade's Staind, it's no coincidence that these guys are getting airplay a couple months after The Year of Linkin Park. While the musicianship is clean and, for the most part, decent, Hoobastank's major label debut falls flat because it's boring!
The MTV hit "Crawling in the Dark" kicks the project off, with perfectly predictable Creed generation riffs and Green Day-like melodies. Doug Robb's vocals flirt with a more rehearsed Billy Joe Armstrong style, but eventually can't salvage what is clearly an average collection of songs. The pointless and haphazard lyrics are well displayed in "Better," as Robb pleads, "I'd better not be so afraid, I bet I shouldn't say. I don't know what it is or what I might be coming down with…." Even attempts at the signature metal ballad, ala Incubus, tend to blow up in their face. "Too Little Too Late" is nowhere near as slick as the countless radio ballads that have filled this category for the last few years.
It's no surprise that Hoobastank is currently touring Europe with their friends Incubus. For this youngest generation of post-90s rap metal thrasher is showing how one can simply nurture and spawn the next. From Rage Against the Machine to Limp Bizkit to Nickelback and Puddle of Mudd, this enormously popular category of the moment is jammed full, leaving no room in the cookie jar for Hoobastank!