Eerily polite, blandly handsome nu-metal quartet...
In a world where a band as splendidly nuts as System Of A Down exist, you really wonder who the hell is listening to Hoobastank. An eerily polite, blandly handsome nu-metal quartet from the Santa Monica neighbourhood that spawned stratospheric mosh idols Linkin Park, this, their
second album, is high on nice-bloke vibes, but desperately short on actual charisma.
Still, with Staind deep in the process of turning ‘angst’
into a dirty word, maybe it’s time to give the good guys a
chance. And why not? Because on lead-off single ‘Crawling In
The Dark’, Hoobastank dance the frets and pummel the kickdrums like ambitious young Turks, genuinely enthusiastic contenders in a field marked by its preposterous number of image-conscious fashion victims. Likewise, the appeal of ‘Pieces’ is that it’s practically a blank canvas – a flashy three minutes of Dawson’s Creek mall-metal just waiting to be imprinted with youthful hopes and dreams and fumbles behind the bike sheds.
Naturally, it all goes wrong round about track five. From ‘Let You Know’ in, Hoobastank go about the process of bulking out this album as if the right to produce filler was a clause in their contract, churning out nu-metal clichés like they’re Linkin Park‘s green young understudies. What this genre so desperately needs is a Weezer – a group willing to transcend its own unassuming, nerdy pigeonhole and blossom into ticker-tape-spewing, tongue-in-cheek metal superstars. But Hoobastank sure won’t
get there by turning out painfully trite therapy-taught bilge like “I dream that someday/ We’ll be able to look back on this today/ And say it was for the best/ And that it made us stronger today”.
The ‘oo’ in Hoobastank‘s name is woven together, like the mathematical symbol for infinity. Deep, dude. And somewhat appropriate. Because in mythology, that symbol is known as the snake that eats its own tail. And Hoobastank truly do suck ass.