Hoobastank is a popular American rock band that got together in 1994. Lead singer Doug Robb and guitarist Dan Estrin met because they competed against each other in high school while they were in opposing bands. They decided to get together to form their own band. They asked Markku Lappalainen, Jeremy Wasser and Chris Hesse to join the band. The name “Hoobastank” came about because Robb couldn’t pronounce a German street name. They got their start playing in local venues.
They recorded their first album in 1998. It was a self-released album called They Sure Don’t Make Basketball Shorts Like They Used To. The band’s name was spelled differently. It was spelled “Hoobustank” when this project came out. Their style was more funk metal than their signature post grunge sound. They even had rap vocals on the album. The album features the single “Earth Sick.”
Once they developed a strong following in Southern California, a producer from Island Records discovered them. They were signed to the label in 2000. They recorded another self-released album called Forward in 2000. They wanted to change their sound with this album and felt like they didn’t need a saxophone player. Wasser left the band when they felt they didn’t need a saxophone player for the album. The label approved of Wasser leaving the band.
They released their first studio album in 2001. It’s an eponymous album. This album includes their signature post grunge sound. The band found success with this platinum selling album. It features the hit singles “Crawling in the Dark,” “Running Away” and “Remember Me.” The album made it to 25 on the charts.
Hoobastank released their second album The Reason in 2003. The album was delayed because Estrin was in a bike accident. This is the last album to feature bassist Lappaleinen. The album received mixed reviews from the critics. Despite the mixed reviews, the album was even more successful than their previous album. The album peaked at number three on the charts. It features the singles “Out of Control,” “The Reason,” “Same Direction” and “Disappear.” The album sold over two million copies.
The band released their third album Every Man For Himself in 2006. It was the first album not to feature Lappaleinen. He was replaced with bassist Chris Chaney and Paul Bushnell. The album debuted at number 12 on the charts. The album features the singles “If I Were You,” “Inside of You” and “Born to Lead.” The album sold more than 500,000 copies.
They released their fourth album For(N)ever in 2009. The album peaked at number 26 on the charts. The album received mixed reviews from the critics. The album features the singles “My Turn,” “So Close, So Far” and “The Letter.” The band released a greatest hits album called The Greatest Hits: Don’t Touch My Moustache in 2009. It features songs from their albums plus unreleased songs.
The band released their fifth studio album Fight or Flight in 2012. The band signed with an independent label so they could record music on their own terms. They didn’t want to do music that other people wanted them to make. The album received mixed reviews. The album features the singles “This Is Gonna Hurt,” “Can You Save Me” and “Incomplete.” The album peaked at number 17 on the Independent charts.
They released their sixth album Push Pull in 2018. This album was a departure from their signature sound. This album had a pop rock and funk rock sound. The album features the singles “More Beautiful” and “Head Over Heels.” The album peaked at number 35 on the charts.
Hoobastank may not have many albums, but they managed to leave their mark on the rock scene. They managed to have quite a few hits throughout their career. This Top 10 Hoobastank Songs list will consist of 10 of their popular songs. Is your favorite on the list? Is your favorite number one on the list?
# 10 – The Letter ft. Vanessa Amorosi
We’re going to start our Top 10 Hoobastank Songs list with “The Letter” from the album For(N)ever. This haunting ballad has a post grunge sound. This bitter song is about a relationship ending because one person cheats on their partner. This song is telling a story about a relationship gone wrong. You don’t hear too many songs about a lover being caught cheating through a letter. The music is enchanting and fits the theme perfectly. The guitar chords are just right. They aren’t too loud so you can get a chance to enjoy the story playing out without the music dominating the lyrics. Robb and Amorosi stay in character throughout the song. Their voices complement each other well. When the music gets louder, Robb and Amorosi get a chance to shout with the music. They manage not to get drowned out by the music when it gets louder. They did a great job vocally and both win the vocal challenge.
# 9 – Disappear
The next song on our Top 10 Hoobastank Songs list is the vulnerable “Disappear” from the successful album The Reason. This ballad has a post grunge sound. This personal song is about him feeling bad when he’s not with the one he loves. The incredible music starts off softly in the verses and then gets louder in the chorus. The percussion is on point. The stringing guitar riffs sell the music. The song has a good chorus and a catchy melody. The bridge is outstanding. Robb shows his vocal ability when he holds a note in the bridge. Speaking of his vocal ability, his voice is perfect with the music. His low tenor vocals blend well with the music. His tone goes up and down like a roller coaster throughout the song. He sounds similar to Chris Daughtry in this song.
# 8 – Inside of You
This controversial song is the second single from the underrated Every Man For Himself album. This upbeat song has a post grunge sound. The song is about him having sex with his partner. He talks about wanting to do anything to have sex with someone, but he manages not to come off too desperate. The music starts off with an amazing electronic beat. The guitar riffs are pulsating and riveting. The band does a great job with the music. They manage to combine rock with dance because you can move around to the music. Robb’s vocals are enjoyable. He doesn’t soar in this song the way he does in other songs, but his voice is still pleasant to the ear. He manages to sing in time with all of the beat changes. He even holds notes towards the end of the song. The only minor issue with the song is that it is too short. By the time you really get into it, it’s over.
# 7 – Same Direction
This spiritual song is from the hit album The Reason. This up-tempo song has a post grunge sound. This energetic and theological song is about people having different religions and ending up in the same place at the end. This song is different because people don’t usually sing songs like this especially in the rock genre. The guitar riffs are blazing and infectious. The pounding drumbeats are on point. The chorus is catchy and memorable. Robb’s vocals are layered because he has a double in the chorus. His double is in a deeper octave than he usually sings. He sounds melodic throughout the song. He holds little notes in the chorus and after the bridge that are impressive for a post grunge singer.
# 6 – Born to Lead
This inspiring song is the third single from the Every Man For Himself album. This up-tempo song has post grunge and hard rock sound. This anthemic song is about being a leader and not a follow. This song has a powerful message about leading and not following others. The band tried something new with this song and it worked. The music features different instrumentation. It has a military theme. The drumbeat sounds similar to cadence music. It was a risk to include the military theme, but it paid off because it made it stand out from the rest of their songs. The guitar riffs rip throughout the music. Robb’s vocals are strong and gritty. He’s in full-throated glory. He sounds passionate when he expresses the need to be a leader. The only issue with the song is it features needless talking throughout the song. It doesn’t add anything to the song so it wasn’t needed.
# 5 – My Turn
The next song on our Top 10 Hoobastank Songs list is the motivational “My Turn” from the underrated For(N)ever album. The song has a post grunge and alternative metal sound. This anthemic song is about a person looking to get what they deserve. Here is some trivia about the song. This song is inspired by a poem written by Robb’s brother. This song has a relatable theme because everyone wants to know when it’s going to be his or her turn to succeed. The music is grungy and infectious. The song contains killer guitar riffs that would be the envy of any rock band. Robb’s high notes soar over the cinematic guitar riffs. His vocals are gritty and aggressive. He’s convincing when he shouts about wanting his turn to succeed. He is a little hard to understand when he’s shouting, but it doesn’t take away from how good the song is.
# 4 – Out of Control
This introspective song is the lead single from the hugely popular The Reason. This up-tempo song has post grunge, alternative rock and alternative metal sound. This manic song is about a person going crazy after doing what someone told them to do. The guitar riffs and drumbeats are heart pounding. The instrumentation will send chills up and down your spine. The band is in their wheelhouse with the music because it is very grungy. The music overshadows the lyrics because it’s so powerful. Robb’s strong vocals were needed because he would have been drowned out by the music. His voice is very gritty and he does a lot of shouting in the hook. His voice sounds husky when he is shouting. He sounds as if he’s screeching when he says the title of the song before he begins the chorus. With that said, this song is sure to impress rock fans.
# 3 – Running Away
This emotional song is the third single from their impressive eponymous album. This ballad has a post grunge sound. The song is about a woman running away from her problems. The music has a mainstream sound. The guitar riffs in the beginning make the song sound like a Spanish song. The music is soft in the verses, but gets louder in the pre-chorus and chorus. The music highlights Robb’s vocal talents. He sounds similar to Chris Daughtry in this song. He sings in his signature low tenor register. His vocals soar over the pounding guitar riffs in the hook. His vocals are enjoyable and passionate. He doesn’t do any needless shouting in this song. He only does it when it’s needed. This song showcases how good of a singer he is.
# 2 – Crawling in the Dark
This breakthrough song is another song from their eponymous album. This upbeat song has a nu metal sound. This gothic song is about him wondering if his life is going in the right direction. The lyrics are deep and meaningful. The song could be about life or religion. The instruments complement each other. The music is energetic and upbeat. It allows you to move around to it. The guitar sequence is impressive especially in the chorus. Robb’s vocals are spine tingling and amazing. He has excellent timing with the beat. His vocals are flawless. His vocals soar over the music without him being overpowering. He doesn’t over sing over the loud music. The only problem with the song is that it isn’t long enough. His vocals are so incredible that it made you want to hear more of it. This could have been number one, but another song took the top spot.
# 1 – The Reason
The number one song on our Top 10 Hoobastank Songs list is the power ballad “The Reason” from the album of the same name. The song has an alternative rock and pop rock sound. This romantic song is about crediting someone for changing his or her ways. This isn’t in Hoobastank’s wheelhouse because it is a soft rock/pop rock song, but it is perfect for them. This song proves that they could sing a song that isn’t grungy. The music is soft and romantic. This song features guitar riffs, but it also showcases the keyboards. Robb’s vocals are passionate and optimistic. He sounds sentimental and sincere in the lyrics. He uses a lower register for this song, which is a nice change of pace. He doesn’t do too much shouting until he gets to the hook and towards the end of the song. It’s easy to see why this song was one of their biggest hits. It’s an excellent song that deserves the top spot on our list.
Top 10 Hoobastank Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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