Mediocrity rules, and Hoobastank is king

By By Victoria Johnson

By Victoria Johnson


Every Man For Himself

Island Records

One out of five stars

If you like your music bland, watered-down, over-produced and all-around mediocre, then Hoobastank’s Every Man for Himself might just be the album for you.

What Hoobastank has created is an album that is so damn boring, it’s not even fun to hate. It’s not pretty; it’s not ugly; it’s not loud; it’s not quiet; it’s not slow; it’s not fast-it just sort of is. It is generic, radio-friendly, plastic-wrapped, homogenous rock music. Want some?

With boring, predictable melodies and vapid lyrics, Hoobastank’s new album is so banal, it’s almost offensive. Like the food at Golden Corral, it isn’t entirely putrid, but only because it is so amazingly generic.

Here is an example of the poetic genius that Hoobastank displays on the song “Moving Forward:”

“I stand before / A road that will lead / Into the unknown / At least unknown to me. / I want to go / But I’m paralyzed with fear / Fear of a choice / Where the outcome is unclear.”

Wow-so profound. Actually, that part was pretty impressive for these guys, what with the three-syllable word. Par-a-lyzed. Good job, boys!

What’s worse is that the only somewhat sonically interesting parts on Every Man are blatantly ripped off from other bands. The flute intro on “If I Were You” is remarkably similar to the flute intro on the Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields,” and the intro on “Moving Forward” is reminiscent of the intro to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”-the difference being that Hoobastank uses some kind of vocal processor to get a harmonizing effect, whereas Queen used, you know, four guys with talent.

If you enjoy dull and unchallenging rock music, then by all means, buy Every Man for Himself. As Le Tigre so aptly put it, “Mediocrity rules, man. Mediocrity rules.”