When I first heard Hoobastank's first album it sounded like they had been influenced heavily by a little band by the name of Incubus. And being both bands are from the same neck of the woods separated by nine miles between Agoura Hills and Calabasas, it made sense that could be the case. With the release of their second album, Out of Control there was obvious growth within the band. And with their third release the growth continues. One nice thing about Hoobastank is that they don't have a set formula when sitting down to put an album together. And such is the case with Every Man For Himself. The 13-track set runs the gamut from ballad to searing layers of some pretty good guitar work. It sounds as if Doug Robb has done a ton of voice work, or at least it seems so as the vocals on most of tracks are very strong as well as the arrangements.
The album starts off with the barking of a Drill Sergeant as if the listener might be in the boot camp of life. It then sends itself into track#2, with a song called "Born to Lead" and then into a melodic number called "Moving Forward" which I liked.
The best song on the album is "If I were you". Well crafted lyrics, tempo changes & driving guitars. The meat of the album by far are songs 5 through 8 - "The first of me", "Good Enough", as mentioned "If I were you" and lastly a song called "Without a Fight".
Track 10 called "Look where we are" begins to sound like the beginning of the album and track 11. "Say the Same" can only constitute "filler" as the song makes no sense, and again, begins to sound like the first few tunes on the album. Track 12, "If Only" is a slow song with some nice acoustic and electric guitar overlays and the last song "More than a Memory" is more of the same.
All in all if you are Hoobastank fan, you will probably like the album, if you are not, you won't. I don't see them expanding any new fan base with this disc. However, as I mentioned they have shown growth. This band is on the fence now. This effort will set up the material forth coming on album #4. If the next album doesn't shake the tree, this band may very well be history. That's not to say it will happen. They definitely have the tools and experience to put together a string of songs that could be excellent material and commercially successful. But this album is not that album. We will have to see how Hoobastank stands the test of time.