Every Man for Himself

Studio Album by released in 2006

Every Man for Himself review

First album without the original bassist Markku Lappalainen

Post-grunge quartet Hoobastank formed in the Los Angeles suburb of Agoura Hills in early 1994, after vocalist Doug Robb met guitarist Dan Estrin at a high-school battle of the bands competition. The two chose to join forces, and after adding bassist Markku Lappalainen and drummer Chris Hesse, Hoobastank were born. While the heavy alternative sounds of acts like Tool and Alice in Chains were primary influences, Hoobastank tempered the gloomier elements of that music with a suburban California groove and an eye for accessibility. The self-released, clumsily titled They Sure Don't Make Basketball Shorts Like They Used To generated strong local buzz upon its 1998 release, and soon the band had moved from backyard gigs to shows up and down the Cali coast. Hoobastank's eponymous debut dropped in November 2001 and the second full-length, The Reason, was realeased at the end of 2003. It showcased a harder-edged vocal performance from Robb. Every Man for Himself, third album from Hoobastank, is the first without the original bassist Markku Lappalainen. It counts with participations by former Tool bassist Chris Cheney and vocal participations by producer Howard Benson and Hoobastank's webmaster Dan Berman.

Hoobastank transpose their creativity into a new level

The tracks found on this album are of varying style, with If I Were You a lesser cousin of their breakthrough hit, power-ballad The Reason. Doug Robb proves to have an alluring vocal style, all backed by sweeping strings and a standard big chorus. Beginning in a similar manner, Don’t Tell Me has a soft edge, before the shouting and power chords take over, but is undermined by painfully cliched lyrics. Inside of You is a quirky come-on with startling frank lyrics – Doug Robb doesn't usually sing about lust. The snippet of The First Of Me hints at a potentially huge track, while the clip of Born To Lead has a military vibe and catchy riff. You can also find two bonus tracks here: Finally Awake and Waiting. If you liked the infectious pop-rock stylings of the last two Hoobastank albums, you’ll enjoy Every Man for Himself just as much, if not more. But this is an album that will certainly shock some Hoobastank hardcore fans. They continue to make good rock songs but on this album they transpose their creativity into a new level. Prepare to hear some innovation in Hoobastank's music. They tried a lot of new instruments along with some new styles that weren't used by them on previous albums. The epic More Than a Memory, for example, features flutes, accordion, chimes and trumpets.

Individuality and personal choice are the overriding themes to Every Man for Himself

Whilst they remain relatively unknown in Europe, back home Hoobastank have a slightly greater profile, which has been recognized with three Grammy nominations. The band started work on the third album during their last mega-tour. Estrin would come up with musical ideas during sound checks, then record a demo later, hand it off to Doug for melodies and lyrics, and finally, fly home with the whole band to record the finished product during non-tour weekends. This is a very different Hoobastank comparing with the "other" that we were used to, probably a more mature one. Individuality and personal choice are the overriding themes to Every Man for Himself. The First Of Me, for example, is Robb’s idea that people should start their own thing and be "the first of me", instead of "the next of you." "The songs definitely reflect the idea that you are in control of your own life, and its up to you to change things if it’s not going well," says the singer. Every Man for Himself won't probably sound like anything you ever heard from Hoobastank. They improved, and they didn't want to do just another linear album, they wanted to surprise everyone, but above all, to please themselves.