ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Spicy pad Thai heats up the
InterVarsity Choral Festival
prepares to hit the high note
Disc of the Week
This is Bad Taste, no
literally - it sucks
Hoobastank crawls into sickly
Boys cry, too, y'know
Hoobastank crawls into sickly sweet pop
Def Jam Records
Three Stars (out of five)
Hoobastank's major label is a solid first effort for the Southern
Though the band has been cultivating its own style since 1995, the new
album indicates that today's alternative rock scene has also left an
impression on Hoobastank.
The first single from the record is "Crawling in the Dark," an upbeat,
energetic "nu-metal" track bordering on the realm of pop.
Lead singer Douglas Robb contributes a distinctive lyrical voice
throughout the album, displaying an impressive vocal range.
In "Pieces," Robb paints a striking portrait of the suffocating effects of
modern society. His haunting vocals are complemented by low-key guitars
and thrashing drums.
Conversely, "Let You Know" should have been re-routed to the latest N*Sync
album, with its sickly sweet lyrics and boring, poppy melody. It adds a
shiny coat to the more profound and interesting tracks surrounding it.
In addition, Hoobastank's preppy, pretty boy image is ill-suited to the
genre, which may be a turn-off for some of the potential market.
One of the more impressive songs on the album is "Running Away," an
emotional piece in which Robb directly confronts his own feelings of
helplessness: "Is it me? Is it you? Nothing that I can do. Is it a waste
Hoobastank's debut is both intense and quietly despairing – yet it
maintains a distinguishing melodic quality setting it apart from
Unfortunately, the album becomes repetitive halfway through and could
stand to benefit from greater musical variation.
Though the band's polished sound is worthy of credit, the album does
nothing to significantly advance the genre.