For(n)ever review by Hoobastank

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  • Released: Jan 27, 2009
  • Sound: 5
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 5.7 Decent
  • Users' score: 6.4 (40 votes)
Hoobastank: For(n)ever
1

Sound — 5
Hoobastank's biggest commercial moment was undoubtedly 2003's power ballad The Reason. Love it or loathe it, the song delivered on many levels. The chorus is still one of the best things we've heard on modern rock radio in the 00's so far. With multi-platinum sales now under their belt, the California band went into their next album, Every Man For Himself (2006) with expectations aimed high. Unfortunately there wasn't anything near the brilliance of The Reason on it and they quickly faded from the international consciousness. Taking a couple of years to regroup, Hoobastank have returned with the awkwardly titled For(N)ever. Right from the start things don't seem all that promising. My Turn sounds like a long-lost b-side from their major label debut. What we mean by that is that it sounds like it was written and recorded in 2001. The guitar tone has nu-metal in its DNA and as you can imagine, it gets tiring really quick. Luckily the album rebounds a bit on Don't Think I Love You with its big chorus and interesting counter guitar melody but things go south again on the middling So Close, So Far. Its clear Hoobastank were trying to create another radio monster but the track just plods along never revealing a moment worth remembering. You know these guys can craft this kind of stuff well at times but the songs here just don't cut it.

Lyrics — 7
No one will ever accuse Doug Robb of being a bad vocalist. He remains the band's strongest asset and his singing here proves that. On All About You he turns in another passionate performance echoing one of Hoobastank's early singles, Crawling in the Dark. Too bad he has to deliver lyrical atrocities like, I write your name in my breath on the window/sit and watch as it fades away. Those are the kinds of lines you would read in a 13 year old girl's diary not on a proper rock record. The rest of the songs suffer from the same fate with one lightweight line after the other. Robb saves the material from falling apart all-together so he should be commended for keeping the boat afloat, so to speak. Maybe the next time out the band could bring in some outside help to work on the words with them because they could use the help. The 7 rating we gave them here is solely for Robb.

Overall Impression — 5
Guitarist Dan Estrin shows off his formidable chops on tracks like Gone Gone Gone and All About You with hard-edged riffing and air-tight stop and go rhythms. He's the kind of player who never gets in the way of a song so his performances are wisely economic. Howard Benson (Flyleaf and a lot of other bands you hear on the radio) clocks in with another by-the-numbers production job. The synthetic guitar sound suffocates the entire recording even burying some of the hopeful moments. The entire albums sounds like every other band fighting to get on the cover of Alternative Press magazine. The only thing he doesn't flub is Robb's vocals. Often labeled as mere Incubus clones, For(n)ever won't do much to fight off the haters. Where the aforementioned weave intricate tempo shifts and non-conventional guitar lines into their modern-rock hits, Hoobastank keep things much simpler, streamlining their sound into something more straight-forward. Nothing's inherently wrong with that but when the big hooks don't appear; all you're left with is a bunch of forgettable tunes.

47 comments sorted by best / new / date

    zulfadhli
    For me, it was a bad move for this band to change their style of music after The Reason , because they have to keep the great momentum in their past 2 record (S/T & The Reason) . Eventhough Every Man for Himself is a GOLD certified record in USA , it still a road to a big disaster for me... it's true, the big disaster is arived, it's FOR(N)EVER! (the title and the artwork itself is super weird). They surely need a new great record to cover this shit. If it either way, HOOBASTANK WILL BE DEAD .
    cloud041089
    these guys should give up. they were good in their prime, in alt rock of the early-mid 00's. now that genre is pretty much dead, they tried to move on by switching but they failed.
    Noodles88
    Idk where all this is coming from, I loved the new album. But I also liked all their other albums just as much. Granted that they stepped away from some of their more rock roots such as My Turn, but still a great album imo. Plus awesome cover design.
    james975
    This albums quite good. They're growing up and changing their sound, you can't blame them for that. A band that doesn't change their sound just becomes boring. Kudos to the guys in Hooba for trying different things on the past couple albums.
    Raptor01022
    What does a band have to do to be liked, it seems like they need to have heavy metal and screams with amazing solos and bass pedal that is constant eighth notes. Once a band gets played on a top 40 hits radio station are they automatically bad b/c last time i checked that was a good thing. This cd is not their best cd but it is a good enough cd to buy, o and i forgot a band nowadays shouldn't even release their cd to radio stations so that they don't become too "mainstream". We wouldn't want anyone but their most dedicated fans to like them.
    zulfadhli
    one more thing, they surely need MARKKU LAPPALAINEN back! they so shit after MARKKU left the band at the end of THE REASON tour. Right now it have been 4 bassist replacement that not even last longer. 0. MARKKU LAPPALAINEN(surely need this guy back!) DISASTER STRIKES! 1. MC KENZIE (just for a week!) 2. JOSHUA MOREAU (abit longer, from 2006-2008) 3. DAVID AMEZCUA (last for one month...duh) 4. JESSE CHARLAND (the on that still hold on since JAN 09)
    Harmony.Korine
    DirkLance wrote: Ninjamonkey767 wrote: Im Feeling This wrote: these guys sound absolutly nothing like incubus Indeed. I don't know where they get the connection from. As a self proclaimed Incubus freak, I know a little bit about the situation. The founding members of Hoobastank and Incubus grew up in close proximity in California, they also worked the same music scene. They bands knew each other back then...and if some think the name Hoobastank is bad, they used to be Hoobustank...which flows worse if you ask me. On that note, if you look in the liner notes of older Incubus albums, you can find Hoobustank listed in their thank yous. But as for questions of sounding like Incubus...I agree, I think they only get grouped together because of their earlier association. Early Incubus was extremely funky...I don't think I've ever heard Hoobastank foray into anything close to funk. Obviously now it's a much different story but I don't get the comparisons either. They only thing I can see that is remotely similar is some of the guitar work and the approach to writing parts and songs altogether...some of the techniques and such. Mike has become much more experimental than Dan over the years, and you can tell in how much Incubus has changed throughout their career. Hoobastank, though, has remained more static...but I still like both guitarists very much.
    True. I think its their more mainstream songs (I'm thinking Talk Shows) that are similar to Hoobastank. But would you ever hear Psychopsilocybin, Redefine, Nebula, Out From Under, Just a Phase, Echo (so beautiful), Aqueous Transmission, Sick Sad Little World, Zee Deveel, Light Grenades or Pendulous Threads from Hoobastank? No. And some of those songs are some of Incubus' best. So Hoobastank fail. Btw, Incubus on hiatus? Wtf bs this can't be happening I need moar Incubus!
    philthy335
    i listen to alot of very diverse music and hoobastank has always found a home in my collection. they do their job and do it right, i havent heard one person say it doesnt sound like hoobastank. dan rob and chris do their jobs and produce quality music. i guess im biased cause i had the opportunity to meet these guys recently and one thing i can say is that despite all their previous success they remain very down to earth guys who just love to make music and how can you really hate on that? you guys sound like taproot fans that still want them to rap. bands grow, change and evolve to find where they belong and like them or loathe them they found their niche. but whatever let the flaming begin
    magicfruitsnack
    philthy335 wrote: i listen to alot of very diverse music and hoobastank has always found a home in my collection. they do their job and do it right, i havent heard one person say it doesnt sound like hoobastank. dan rob and chris do their jobs and produce quality music. i guess im biased cause i had the opportunity to meet these guys recently and one thing i can say is that despite all their previous success they remain very down to earth guys who just love to make music and how can you really hate on that? you guys sound like taproot fans that still want them to rap. bands grow, change and evolve to find where they belong and like them or loathe them they found their niche. but whatever let the flaming begin
    preachin to the choir here, but I concur. the overwhelming lack of informed and insightful comments don't do justice for the hoobastank,musicians, UG, or this forum. kinda foreshadows a type of closed-mindedness i've seen only in guys my age that can only listen to the drivel they heard when we were cutting class and pimping liquor--embittered naysayers acting the armchair quarterbacks of rock and its working class grunts. Really now. All bands want to sell out. No one wants to eat ramen and mac'n cheese for life. cool factor stays fresh only if the band can evolve and relate to and broaden their scope of influence. no growth means..uh..death. Hoobastank rocked the Sutra Lounge in Costa Mesa last night. mostly played their new stuff(duh), the standards(mostly from the reason), a medley even, and surprised us with an acoustic version of Pick up the Pieces. Outstanding group with chops to last. The diversity of their set is a testament to their songwriting evolution , skills, and future. Doug Robb's vocals were spot on and even worked the crowd a bit. on the table was drinks for the women if they could sing their part of the final bars of My Turn, and some backdoor action for the men (to the women, that is) if they could get the balls to screamo louder than the ladies. Yes, if they could've played a newer version of Earthsick or Naked Jock Man from their first release, it would've been an 11 instead of a 10. That said, the band couldn't have made a smarter move than to play to a crowd of folks in a posh lounge setting that can continue to appreciate their efforts and maybe share some of the experiences that influence daily life like long-term relationships, children, marriage and the like. Oh and crowd that will actually buy their music and go to their gigs...all right, I'm off the soapbox...
    Betzefer
    I used to like them... they got some nice songs in the first 3 albums, but for every good song you get like 5 whiny pussy ballads which are a pathetic attempt towards radio attention
    BriGuy7727
    Their first 2 CDs were awesome (aside from the actual song 'The Reason' I couldn't stand it). There were some good cuts off of their 3rd CD, but what the F happened to this band?
    DirkLance
    BriGuy7727 wrote: Their first 2 CDs were awesome (aside from the actual song 'The Reason' I couldn't stand it). There were some good cuts off of their 3rd CD, but what the F happened to this band?
    Well they parted ways with their bassist, for one. The 3rd album was kinda impressive to a degree with how they kept a full sound with minimal influence from the bass department, but the addition of a more obvious bass lick here or there on the newest album adds depth. They obviously still represent themselves as the 3 members and I think they're just trying to find their groove again. I think the critique so far from UG is pretty harsh...although I agree this probably is not their best album, nor their collection of "hit songs", but I still enjoy the record. With many of my favorite bands on hiatus, I'll take any band that I believe can bring me consistent rock songs amidst all of the pop junk. Some people may not agree with me, and that's okay! I at least appreciate that UG is typically the kind of place where people judge based on album experience rather than ripping the single and basing the band from that. And you DID listen to the whole album before rating, right? ...right?
    cfrank
    BriGuy7727 wrote: Their first 2 CDs were awesome (aside from the actual song 'The Reason' I couldn't stand it). There were some good cuts off of their 3rd CD, but what the F happened to this band?
    Definitely. In the second album i would say the one of the worst songs was The Reason. Probably they lost it when the bass player left.
    BriGuy7727
    DirkLance wrote: And you DID listen to the whole album before rating, right? ...right?
    I didn't rate the CD...I don't have it, but I listened to most of it on youtube & it wasn't very good. It was much less hard rock, more generic stuff. Gone Gone Gone had a cool guitar riff for the verse, but it is sloppily thrown together. Their first single is really the only song I thought was pretty good.
    pinata89
    Their only album that was worth even half a shit was their first. Other than that, they are complete garbage. Incubus rocks, for sure..but I think they are becoming more and more cliche as time goes on. Their older material (e.g. S.C.I.E.N.C.E., Enjoy, Fungus Amongus) is incredible.
    dan1985smith
    DirkLance wrote: BriGuy7727 wrote: Their first 2 CDs were awesome (aside from the actual song 'The Reason' I couldn't stand it). There were some good cuts off of their 3rd CD, but what the F happened to this band? Well they parted ways with their bassist, for one. The 3rd album was kinda impressive to a degree with how they kept a full sound with minimal influence from the bass department, but the addition of a more obvious bass lick here or there on the newest album adds depth. They obviously still represent themselves as the 3 members and I think they're just trying to find their groove again. I think the critique so far from UG is pretty harsh...although I agree this probably is not their best album, nor their collection of "hit songs", but I still enjoy the record. With many of my favorite bands on hiatus, I'll take any band that I believe can bring me consistent rock songs amidst all of the pop junk. Some people may not agree with me, and that's okay! I at least appreciate that UG is typically the kind of place where people judge based on album experience rather than ripping the single and basing the band from that. And you DID listen to the whole album before rating, right? ...right?
    I'm gonna guess the answer is no
    iwillrockyou22
    ♪I've been crawling in the dark, wondering why this band ain't dead yet..♪ (you see its funny cuz i used their only good song to diss them, haha) \m/
    Ninjamonkey767
    Im Feeling This wrote: these guys sound absolutly nothing like incubus
    Indeed. I don't know where they get the connection from.
    DirkLance
    Ninjamonkey767 wrote: Im Feeling This wrote: these guys sound absolutly nothing like incubus Indeed. I don't know where they get the connection from.
    As a self proclaimed Incubus freak, I know a little bit about the situation. The founding members of Hoobastank and Incubus grew up in close proximity in California, they also worked the same music scene. They bands knew each other back then...and if some think the name Hoobastank is bad, they used to be Hoobustank...which flows worse if you ask me. On that note, if you look in the liner notes of older Incubus albums, you can find Hoobustank listed in their thank yous. But as for questions of sounding like Incubus...I agree, I think they only get grouped together because of their earlier association. Early Incubus was extremely funky...I don't think I've ever heard Hoobastank foray into anything close to funk. Obviously now it's a much different story but I don't get the comparisons either. They only thing I can see that is remotely similar is some of the guitar work and the approach to writing parts and songs altogether...some of the techniques and such. Mike has become much more experimental than Dan over the years, and you can tell in how much Incubus has changed throughout their career. Hoobastank, though, has remained more static...but I still like both guitarists very much.
    HurricaneSG
    i just listened to 'my turn'.. wow it sucks so bad.. i liked the debute stuff though.. crawling in the dark for example
    strat0blaster
    HurricaneSG wrote: i just listened to 'my turn'.. wow it sucks so bad.. i liked the debute stuff though.. crawling in the dark for example
    The EP before that album was even better.
    Scarykids619
    the first album was actually pretty good like peices and remember me and crawling in the dark, and then the next was also strong with songs like out of control, same direction, and let it out. then every man for himself went downhill they obviously just want to be on the radio more
    Bob.Loblaw
    I really liked their first two CD's, but I have to agree that this album is really watered down. I gotta say though that I expected it... They still let me down.
    JLT73
    I think all of their cds are good. this review is a little biased. Also the singer is terrible live.
    Somnambulance
    DirkLance wrote: Ninjamonkey767 wrote: Im Feeling This wrote: these guys sound absolutly nothing like incubus Indeed. I don't know where they get the connection from. As a self proclaimed Incubus freak, I know a little bit about the situation. The founding members of Hoobastank and Incubus grew up in close proximity in California, they also worked the same music scene. They bands knew each other back then...and if some think the name Hoobastank is bad, they used to be Hoobustank...which flows worse if you ask me. On that note, if you look in the liner notes of older Incubus albums, you can find Hoobustank listed in their thank yous. But as for questions of sounding like Incubus...I agree, I think they only get grouped together because of their earlier association. Early Incubus was extremely funky...I don't think I've ever heard Hoobastank foray into anything close to funk. Obviously now it's a much different story but I don't get the comparisons either. They only thing I can see that is remotely similar is some of the guitar work and the approach to writing parts and songs altogether...some of the techniques and such. Mike has become much more experimental than Dan over the years, and you can tell in how much Incubus has changed throughout their career. Hoobastank, though, has remained more static...but I still like both guitarists very much.
    I agree completely. Doug sort of sounds like he's trying to sing like Brandon Boyd too. Incubus is amazing though, why not be influenced by them? Anyway, I don't think the new album is bad. The one before it isn't that bad either. The both flicker with hints that the band is capable of something. Now if they could get a little bit of Incubus's strive to sound original in them, who knows what could happen? By the way, to the person who said that they just want to be on the radio more, there's nothing wrong with wanting people to listen to your music. You'd be a moron if you went and formed a band and said, "Hey! I want to make music only for myself or a self-selected small group of people." Um... the aim of music is to be heard, right? I understand making an intimate record for someone or something like that, but on a major scale, most musicians like people to actually listen to their stuff.
    Somnambulance
    Oh, I almost forgot! Glad to see an album that isn't all 8s or better. Reviews on this site are always really too highly rated.
    aebers79
    i didn't mind this CD. I thought it was actually better than every man for himself, however, its a CD in which the songs are hit or miss.
    Scarykids619
    im not saying they shouldnt want to be heard they shouldnt change there sound to a much worse one in order to be heard though
    Powerhouse
    Hoobastank sounds like the watered-down, less experimental (and therefore less interesting) version of Incubus. To me, they were never particularly special. "Out of Control" was a cool song, and they had a couple interesting other hits, but really, I found them rather bland from the moment I heard them. Plus...trying to insult Scott Weiland and Slash on "If I Were You" was a BIG mistake.
    mosh_rocker2006
    Who labels hoobastank as incubus clones?! That's as far from the truth as the government conspiracy of Area 51.
    Lion_Slicer
    They only time I owned a Hoobastank CD was when I got one at a Hard Rock Cafe... as a coaster for my drink. The only thing its good for I guess... Just kidding, I haven't heard enough to judge them (although Reason is a special kind of bad). I just thought it was a funny incident.