Written by: PP on 26/01/2009 23:14:30

Hoobastank? They're still around? You're not alone, I didn't think these guys still existed. Most people will remember these guys from their entirely awesome self-titled debut album, which featured nu-metal smash hits such as "Crawling In The Dark", "Pieces", "Ready For You", "Too Little Too Late" among others, as well as from their god awful follow up "The Reason" where the band set the new standard on selling out. Few if any people will even know that these guys released a third album in 2006 called "Every Man For Himself" simply because it was a huge flop, not just commercially but also musically. Anyway, the band are planning to change that around with "For(n)ever", their fourth major label album, so lets see what they've got in store for us.

First off, "For(n)ever" is the heaviest Hoobastank record since their self-titled album, though still considerably lighter in the guitar department, so we're back to quirky nu-metal from the pop rock of "The Reason". Tracks like "My Turn", "I Don't Think I Love You", "All Bout You" and the album highlight "Gone Gone Gone" are all full of chunky guitars and simple clean vocal melodies which remind you immediately of their debut album. Not all pop-rock has been shoved aside though, as "The Letter" and especially "Tears Of Yesterday" show, the latter sounding almost as useless as the ultimate pop ballad "The Reason" (the song). The reason I say almost is because it's pretty fucking hard, if not impossible, to write a more $-signs-in-eyes song than "The Reason".

Worth mentioning are also the band's bitter lyrics, these ones taken from "My Turn": "I have patiently been waiting in line watching everyone passing me by and I can't seem to figure out when's it going to be my turn, I'm sick and tired of paying my dues, play the game 'til I lose" - I can't help but think that the band is talking about their nose-first dive into obscurity after "The Reason". Similar bitterness can also be found on a number of other tracks on the record. This is probably why the band's songs sound awfully forced and dated today. Even their brand of experimenting (read: trying to integrate a Guns N Roses influence on "Who The Hell Am I?") fails miserably here.

In many ways "For(n)ever" tries to re-create the band's debut album. The vocal melodies and guitar hooks on most songs could easily have been b-sides from "Hoobastank". There's even a few tracks here that would've been a serious contest to make it on that album. But as one of the band's greatest song's title says: "too little too late", you can't expect the fans to flock back after you turned your back on them once.


Download: My Turn, Gone Gone Gone
For the fans of: P.O.D., old Hoobastank, Trapt
Listen: Myspace

Release date 27.01.2009
Island Records

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