Album: Fight or Flight
Label: Open E Entertainment
I don’t exactly remember how I felt about the first time that I listened to a song by Hoobastank, but I’m sure that it was much better experience than listening to the entirety of Fight or Flight. I can’t exactly put my finger on whatever it was that had originally put me off from “radio rock” music, but this album did a good job at reminding me of all that it took for me to move on to greener pastures.
It’s not so much that the individual musicians in Hoobastank are bad at what they do. It’s more that this is a prime example of what the mainstream rock scene is consistently failing to do: to put out original, or at the least, creative music.
Let’s start this from the top:
“This is Gonna Hurt” is an album opener that actually motivates people to actually listen to the album. It wakes the listener up through the use of quick tempos, rough vocals, and even a bridge that slows things up for a brief 40 seconds before going for the anthemic chorus
By the time, I got to “You Before Me”, the album’s second track, I knew that I was in for an uphill battle against my desire to get up and stop listening to this album. The track has this slow feeling to it, even when there really isn’t anything that’s slow about the song.
“The Fallen” uses some really fun bass lines. “Can You Save Me” is perhaps among the more cliché songs on the album with it’s traditional, no frills approach. “No Destination” is very much just another song where the band experiments with odd-timing, delay, and ambiance up until a pretty intense segment that features Doug Robb wailing away with a mix of synths and guitars providing a suitable backing track.
Standouts on the second half of the album include “Sing What You Can’t Say”, a somber soft song about heartbreak. “Magnolia” plays around with the idea of taking advantage of the days before you. “1000 Words” makes for a good finale of the the record with it’s ongoing acoustic riff accompanied by Robb’s vocals and simplistic drum patterns.
While Fight or Flight might not be the worst release of 2012, it is most certainly not the best. It took a while for me to come to realize that it takes some amount of an effort to digest an album for what it’s worth, and this one takes a pretty great effort to do so. If you’re a diehard fan of everything that’s been played on your local rock radio station, you’ll love this album. It has just about everything that you’ll come to expect from modern rock. If you’re not, you’ll run into a few roadblocks here and there.
Reviewed by: Adrian Garza