The lead single, “This Is Gonna Hurt,” is one of the band’s best songs of their career and as a result, drew a substantial amount of excitement from fans prior to the album’s release. Unfortunately though, the song proves to be misleading as the opening track considering none of the following material on the album matches the same level of aggression or intensity. Essentially, this is the sole pitfall of the album and what prevents it from being truly special. Doug Robb is a dynamic frontman and it would have been better if the group had made more of an effort to take advantage of his vocal abilities and specifically add some heavier material to the album; the reality is they could have taken this to an even higher level if they had been willing to up the ante and bring more of an edge to the record by experimenting with heavier and darker musical elements.
With that being said, this is still a very good album and one that most fans of the group will appreciate. Longtime listeners of the group will love “No Win Situation” which sounds most similar to the material off of their 2001 self-titled effort. The band also excels on slower melodic tracks such as “Magnolia” and “Sing What You Can’t Say,” with the latter being the group’s best ballad since their 2003 smash hit, “The Reason.” And finally, the songs “You Before Me” and “No Destination” are a great listen for really any fan of the alternative rock genre.
Considering this is the group’s first release in almost four years and also their first time working with producer Gavin Brown (Three Days Grace, Thornley), Fight or Flight should be recognized a step back in the right direction for Hoobastank. The album gives the band plenty of new solid material to play while out on the road and should also help the guys regain some of the notoriety they’ve lost in recent years. And if nothing else, Fight or Flight is a clear statement that Hoobastank still has plenty left in the tank.