RATING: 4/10

After selling ten million albums worldwide and putting out five studio albums, there must be a certain amount of pressure to remain at the top of one’s game, but Hoobastank continue to sound like a band enjoying themselves and having fun. Still going strong as one of the biggest American rock acts of our time, the four piece from California have just put out their sixth album, ‘Push Pull’.

“We finally stopped attempting to recreate any formula,” said the band of their latest release. “Instead of trying to be trendy or anticipating how people will react, we did what made us happy. We played to our strengths. Take it or leave it.” We’ll take it.

With some warm, slick production courtesy of the legendary Matt Wallace (Faith No More, Maroon 5), the mix is consistently bouncy, in your face and has that chart pop quality, a blasting out of your speakers on Radio 1 on a summer’s day kinda feeling.

Check out title track ‘Push Pull’ for a stunning example of Douglas Robb’s sweet sounding vocals, his pretty excellent falsetto soaring over the twangy upbeat guitars, then there’s the driving guitar riff and funky electronica of ‘True Believer’ combined with its catchy, memorable chorus; a highlight of the album, with the relentless snare pounding us through to the end. The album is full of little delights, such as the delicate guitars on R&B number ‘More Beautiful’ and the dreamy 80s style cover of Tears For Fears’ ‘Head Over Heels’.

Lyrically, the themes on the album are consistent with a mature band such as Hoobastank. They examine relationship issues on soaring and beautiful ballad ‘We Don’t Need The World’ and the atmospheric yet funky bass driven ‘Buzzkill (Before You Say Goodbye)’ addressing how to try to keep the flame alive when long term love starts to go stale. ‘Fallen Star’, on the other hand, was inspired by soldiers losing their lives, and military families losing their loved ones in conflicts, a concept the band are able to grasp easier now they’re actually parents themselves. “I will never understand how you do it, lay your life out there on the line, no one ever deserves to go through it…”

Closing track ‘There Will Never Be Another’ is a slower power ballad type track, but features some of Robb’s best and most heartfelt vocals on the album, proving to be a great end to the collection, as well as an apt closing statement. “There will never be another one like you”, Robb croons, and as far as Hoobastank goes, we agree. ‘Push Pull’ is a solid addition to their back catalogue and is sure to please long term fans of their music.









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