THE GREATEST ROCK BAND EVER

This entry is dedicated to my favorite rock band. It is a long time in coming, but I was really motivated to write this after the recent release of their new CD on September 11, 2012. I have been following this band since their first release in 2002, Crawling in the Dark. Yes, I am referring to Hoobastank, and they are, in my opinion, the greatest rock band ever! Let me explain why.

Versatility
One thing that I love about Hoobastank is the versatility of their music. They have songs about everything, from people who talk too much about themselves and are conceited to athletes taking in every moment of the Olympics.

Their lyrics are just as versatile as the topics of the songs. Take this line from their latest single This is Gonna Hurt:

” And they say what doesn’t kill you
Well, I’m sure you know the rest
If you’d shut up for a second
I could get this off my chest.”

Their music is chock full of creative stuff like that, and the sound of their music is just as diverse. Yet, they manage to maintain that classic Hoobastank sound that I have come to love. This can be difficult for a band to do. For example, I loved Train’s first three CDs, but after that they changed from a very unique sound that I describe as southern alternative light rock from the bayou, to the same commercial pop sound that everyone has, which I hate. I didn’t even purchase any music by them after the third CD. I am not trying to be critical of Train, but any of their earlier fans have to admit that their was a marked change in their sound.

Hoobastank, on the other hand, can go from their standard hard rock to a lighter alternative sound on the same CD without losing their trademark sound. They are one of the few bands whose CD I can purchase without previewing it because I am confident that it will suit my tastes. After five full-length CDs they have yet to let me down.

Cleanness
One thing that brings me great joy is that Hoobastank’s lyrics are largely without profanity, vulgarity, or scariness. I love, love, love hard rock music, but I hate, hate, hate bad and scary language. I admit that I am the weird one in this area since most fans seem not to care.

When it comes to profanity, I do not curse even when I am very upset. Since I usually sing with whatever is playing I do not listen to music with profanity so that I do not repeat it. Frankly, I wish more artists would clean up their language. For example, I would like some songs by bands like Nickelback if it wasn’t for the occasional bad word.

Additionally, some hard rock artists are too wrapped up in creating a scary atmosphere in their music, not only with their lyrics but also with the music itself. For instance, I love Blurry by Puddle of Mudd, but other songs I have heard by them are scarier than I am comfortable with. The same is true with Breaking Benjamin who, so far, have three songs that I like, but the others I hear are too scary sounding. I just can’t enjoy myself when the artist is singing about devils, demons, and the dead.

I know some are shaking their heads and saying, ‘Flo, you can’t have the best of both worlds. Hard rock must have these things.’ However, there are other bands I follow than tend to have both clean lyrics and unscary sounding music, such as Default, 3 Doors Down, and Daughtry. I even have my eye on a local hard rock band named Modena that I feel is on their way to greatness (check out their song Second Time Around on Youtube).

Not only does Hoobastank excel in this area, but I also appreciate their clean image in the area of tattoos. I know it is more controversial today for a person to denounce tattoos than to encourage them, but I just do not care for them. Calm down, it’s just my opinion. Honestly, to me it either looks like a gross wound, which I guess it is, or like dirt, especially people who have multiple tattoos all over their arms, legs, or neck, and especially full body tattoos. I know that newcomer Jesse clearly has tattoos, but compare this to other bands where every member has multiple tattoos. Clean bands are just more pleasant for me to look at.

As for Doug, Chris, and Dan, I really don’t know if they have tattoos or not, but I’ve never seen them. If they do have them, they must not have too many where it’s just ugly. Hopefully Jesse won’t lead them astray. But the good thing about Jesse is he sure can play some bass. It was hard to see Markku leave some time ago, but Jesse is coming along just fine.

I also have never seen any members of Hoobastank on the news for doing drugs, driving while intoxicated, getting into fights, having wild sexual encounters, biting heads off chickens, or anything like that. It just goes to show that you can be successful on the rock scene without going crazy or being obnoxious. Now I have to be realistic and say that they may be doing some of these things since I don’t know them personally, but at least they keep it under the radar of the paparazzi.

Longevity
Hoobastank has only been around for 18 years since they formed in 1994, but many bands don’t make it that long. I still cannot get over how Savage Garden, who clearly is not a hard rock band, made me fall deeply in love with them, then called it quits after 2 CDs. That frustrates me to no end. Some of the specifics that I love about Hoobastank are the same things I loved about Savage Garden. And who can forget that ridiculously gorgeous singer Darren Hayes? He was absolutely scrumptious, and I know a lot of women, including myself, were heartbroken after…

I digress. The point is that I am so happy that Hoobastank is still around after 18 years, but I recognize that they are not alone. Bon Jovi, Goo Goo Dolls, Foo Fighters, Default, Aerosmith, and 3 Doors Down are just a few other bands that have longevity on their side. Actually, rock bands trends to stay together a lot longer than the average R&B band. Hopefully Hoobastank will not fall into the same pitfalls as some other bands: mistrust over money, drugs, alcohol, influence of women or others trying to convince them they would be better leaving the group and going solo, etc. They must recognize that they are better together than apart and they bring the best out of each other musically.

And Finally…
I know it’s super shallow to like the lead singer, but I absolutely love Doug Robb! Actually, as a side note, the guitarist for Creed is really cute. Anyway, it goes back to 2002 when I first heard Crawling in the Dark and then saw the video on either MTV or The Box (hope I didn’t date myself too much; I was only a senior in high school). Doug had longer hair back then, but he looks really good with long and short hair. His powerful voice just gave me the chills, and it still does. I know it’s childish, but I can’t help but imagine he’s singing those love songs to me. He is just so fine. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not a crazy fan. I’ve never tried to contact them and I don’t go out of my way to read news about them since I am more focused on enjoying their music. Still, I would be lying if I said that Doug’s fineness left me unmoved. I’m not unaffected, to borrow a line from one of their songs. And doesn’t Flo Robb have a nice ring to it? Just kidding!

In Conclusion
I hope I was able to clearly explain why Hoobastank is my favorite band while also putting the spotlight on some of my other favorites. Furthermore, I would like to state that their new CD is slamming. I have listened to it over and over. Their versatility seems most pronounced on this CD. I won’t waste my time listing my favorite songs because I will practically be listing every song on the CD. Just buy it and see for yourself.

I am interested in who your favorite band is. Put them on blast in the comments section. I hope everyone keeps on rocking, and that is today’s tip from Flo.