Dumbest band name in 20 years. Period. Having lost that mythical big poker hand to the God of Common Sense, these four foxy California kids are stuck with the moniker Hoobastank -- a name better befitting a befouled, shoeless jam band than a buncha pretty boys plying aggro-rock for chicks (and the dudes who desperately want them). Somebody's getting laid here, sure. "Crawling in the Dark" kicks off the Stank's eponymous (and why not?) debut with exactly the same ominous, effects-laden, minor-key guitar riff that has opened every "hard rock" album since the first Bush administration. What follows is bright 'n' shiny guitar rock with a distaste for profanity, rap bravado, and any vague sense of edge.
Let's just say it: There exist few groups that sound like other bands to the degree that Hoobastank sounds like Incubus.
This is an asset. Keep those bumpin' choruses comin', boys, and you can keep indulging your taste for doofus poetry-class wordplay ("I like a rock sink") and tunes about all the jocks in high school tryin' to get on your jock, now that you're on U2's label and you (re)write the songs that make the wallet-chain-totin' oaf underworld sing. A big thpppppt to the haters: Look at these kids now. They've found their salvation. That salvation has a name. And that name is . . . Hoobastank.