There are countless reasons why you should pick up this California quartet's follow-up to their 2001 self-titled, debut album. Often compared to fellow Cali alt-rockers Incubus, Hoobastank proves that they are anything but a fabricated boy-band with this well-rounded collection of angst-ridden tracks. With almost every song clocking in at a mere three and a half minutes, o­ne could be concerned with the band's intentions. While you may be asking yourself "is this a straight-up rock album or solely an alternative radio station's dream come true?" after a single spin you'll realize that these guys are serious about making music. Lead singer Doug Robb, guitarist Doug Estrin, bassist Markku Lappalainen and drummer Chris Hesse breathe life into an often tiresome genre with their traditional but memorable sound. The album opens with a 70s-esque guitar riff which is quickly joined by drums, bass and o­ne of Robb's signature melodious laments. The song, which is entitled "Same Direction" sets the mood for the entire album. o­ne of the tamer tracks o­n the disc, "The Reason" stands out because of the band's ability to write a love song without mucking it up with cheese and melodrama. With equally notable tunes such as "Lucky" and "Never There", expect these guys to stick around for awhile.

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