with Secondhand Serenade, Lies of an Alibi
Sometimes even a multi-platinum band with three GRAMMY nominations under their belt needs the kind of pop talk which helped inspire Hoobastanks sixth studio album, Push Pull, their first since 2012s Fight or Flight, and debut for noted rock independent label Napalm Records.We never stopped exchanging musical ideas, says vocalist/guitarist Doug Robb, who co-founded the band with high school classmates, Dan Estrin and Chris Hesse, almost 20 years ago in Agoura Hills, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles he still calls home. We waited until we had enough material to start recording an album. We love creating music, even if no one else ever hears it.Push Pull, so named for the power struggles and codependency that goes on within any long-term relationship--including, but not only, marriage and a rock band--was produced by longtime pal (but first-time collaborator) Matt Wallace at his Studio Deluxe facility in the heart of the bands San Fernando Valley turf. Sifting through the musical demos provided by both Estrin and bassist Jesse Charland (a band member since 2009), then Robbs lyrical and melodic ideas, Wallace provided not just the requisite encouragement, but the creative midwifery, which set the wheels in motion for the album. The result nails a bulls-eye to the underappreciated Stanks sweet spot--the large-scale, muscular 80s-90s alternative rock of U2, Duran Duran, INXS and even Tears for Fears, whose Heads Over Heels gets a brawny, Bowiesque take on the new collection.There were always plenty of demos floating back and forth; some of them I played for Matt even before the rest of the band heard them, says Dan about the records conception, which took place over a two-year period Freed from the pressures of a hovering major label, listening to critical jibes or even the expectations of their fans, Hoobastank approached Push Pull with the swagger and confidence of a band whose first three albums all went either gold, platinum or multi-platinum, The Reason garnering GRAMMY nominations for Song of the Year, Best Rock Album and Best Pop Performance for a Duo or Group. Of course, about that name, which means, exactly what?...Sometimes you make dumb decisions when youre young, and that might have been one of them, laughs Robb about being the punchline to SNL jokes and snooty rock critic snipes. Its too late trying to peel that off and start something else at this point.As for the formidable bar-setting success of The Reason, Doug is similarly sanguine.We finally stopped attempting to recreate any formula, he says. 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.That go-for-broke theme is best expressed in Just Let Go (Who Cares if We Fall), which sums up Hoobastanks attitude. At least we get to fly, sings Robb. Learning to swim/Is more than just learning how not to drown.In the title track and More Beautiful, Doug unleashes his falsetto, while the funky R&B feel is a tribute to Dans early, late-90s penchant for Chic and groove-based dance music. When we first met, he didnt even own a distortion pedal, laughs Doug about his guitarists love of soul and R&BComparing the requirements of keeping both a marriage and a rock band thriving (it has to do with communication), Push Pull songs like True Believer and Buzzkill (Before You Say Goodbye) show Hoobastank maturing from adolescent to adult relationships, often examining the difficulty of keeping alive the sexuality that fuels them. We Dont Need the World and There Will Never Be Another explore the protective bubble and the memories which also bind two people together. Dougs lyrics to the headphones-worthy Fallen Star were inspired by a memory of him watching television one night and seeing a military family of a soldier who had died in combat. It made him think of the brave men and women who serve and even more so now the parents of those who serve.
Cost: $26.00 - $30.00
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