Formed in the mid nineties, Hoobastank have built on their roots and finally grown up. Although lead guitarist Dan Estrin, in a somewhat contradictory episode fractured his skull in a miniature motorbike accident, (no, not a minor accident but an accident on a very small motorbike), there is no doubt that Hoobastank have moved away from the Fishbone and funk ideologies that peppered the Half Man Half Biscuit sounding ‘They Sure Don’t Make Basketball Shorts Like They Used To’ self released debut album.
Voted the most faceless band of 2002-remember they appeared on our radar screens during the rise of Puddle of Mudd and Incubus-Hoobastank have further developed the sound that made the Island self titled platinum debut a success. Building on the fierce guitar and classy hook lines that appeared on but by no means dominated its predecessor ‘The Reason’ is more consistent and more commercial yet edgier. Producer Howard Benson must be given some of the credit for this tinkering with song structure and melody to give maximum impact. ‘Same Direction’, lead out single ‘Out of Control’ and ‘Just One’ possess enough combined crunch and layered harmony vocals to appease most alt-rock followers, whilst radio airplay will no doubt be achieved by the shimmering arpeggio based ballad ‘The Reason’ and the exquisite ‘Unaffected’. This album may have been released a little late in 2003 to collect the accolades it deserved, but make no mistake this remains one of the best alternative rock albums of last year.