311

"Don't Tread on Me" (Volcano; 2005)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

I guess I'm the 311 guy. That's okay, I don't mind championing this band. I've been with them from the commercial start so stick with me for the newest and grooviest. This disc is more laid back and doesn't have the same consistent vibe as their previous efforts. It's still good stuff and the sound of alternative rock and reggae dominate most of the tracks.

If you want a repeat of the intense "311" released back in 1995 you may have to revisit that one on its own, this one has a few bright spots and when I spin a 311 disc I know what I'm getting. The guitar is still funky in parts and when they inject it into a song they really go all out.

This is the eighth studio release from 311 and they still have that familiar sound of reggae so even if you just want that groove filling your ears you've come to the right band. Each song has a story or history attached to it so the lyrics really deserve a read through.

The best ones to leave some tread are: "Don't Tread On Me," "Solar Flare, "Long For The Flowers, and "Its Getting OK Now."

311: The same funky monkeys as always.

For more information, check out http://www.311.com or http://www.myspace.com/311.

"Evolver" (Volcano; 2003)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

311 hail from Omaha, NE. Their sound and style could be labeled as "funkified" and that’s a style they invented. "Evolver" has the formula that made 311 a keg party soundtrack favorite but their music is upbeat and, with the rap/reggae dueling of vocalists S.A. and Hexum, you're sure to enjoy this disc.

The guitar is te"riff"ic. 311 has a way of putting grooves down that would make Lieutenant Dan get up and dance and (although this disc does sport a couple of "intermission tracks"), for the most part, it starts and never lets up. You will need the lyric sheet open to try and sing along ... the vocals are ear friendly, fast but understandable, and the singers can really sing. It's impressive. 

311 don't stray too much from their original sound so the fans they have will stay loyal, but it's worth a listen if you have never heard them, too.

The best funkified tracks are "Creatures (For A While)," "Reconsider Everything," and "Still Dreaming."

311: Nicolas Hexum - vocals, guitar; Chad Sexton - drums; S.A. - vocals; Tim Mahoney - guitar; P-Nut - bass.

For more information, check out http://www.311music.com

"From Chaos" (Volcano; 2001)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is classic 311. The vocal style is still here and the guitar is "riffalicious." You could call it rap/metal but it's really not; its more of a rock/rap/reggae collaboration.

The old skool ska is more in-your-dance-hall than before. The lyrical assault is at an all time best. This is the record that will keep the rabid fans well-fed and will definitely pick up some new ones. If you are new to the band, check out their back catalog.

The music is up-beat and infectious. You never feel down after listening to 311. In fact, you want to take on the world armed with this CD as your soundtrack. It's got surf sounds so it could be your beach music during summer, its got moods and emotions so it could capture a moment or feeling. It's a very well rounded CD throughout.

The best songs here are "You Get Worked," "Full Ride," and "Wake Your Mind Up."

The Band: Nicolas Hexum - vocals,guitar; Chad Sexton - drums; S.A. - vocals; Tim Mahoney - guitar; P-Nut - bass.

For more information, check out http://www.311music.com

"311" (Capricorn; 1995)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This CD is also known as the "Blue Album" but it can be labeled under "Red Hot" if you'd like. This is the best commercial release from the Omaha boys. Every track is a fistful of nasty guitar riffs, vocal waxing and reggae mixed with metal and ska. It's the best mix of those genres that I have ever heard. "311" is a seamless CD in the way that it flows and it is full of radio friendly hits, too.

The first track, "Down," will have you playing air guitar in no time. Each track offers excellent vocals and guitar. The drums are tight and mix well with some turntable scratches. This is must have for fans of any style music. Nick Hexum and S.A. Martinez pull out all the stops and rap a duel of delight.

The best songs are ... well, all of them.

311: Nicolas Hexum - vocals, guitar; Chad Sexton - drums; S.A. - vocals; Tim Mahoney - guitar; P-Nut - bass.

For more information, check out www.311music.com

"Grassroots" (Capricorn; 1994)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is the sophomoric scratch from the corn huskers known as 311. This one really put them on the map and they followed it up with “311,” a CD that had more hits that Lennox Lewis. "Grassroots" is very stylistic and includes many sing-a-long tracks. Considering this was released in 1994, this style of music was unheard of at the time and 311 knew they had something unique.

Although “Grassroots” didn’t offer up any hits for radio, it still set the precedent that many bands would use as a blueprint for the reggae/ska that was to come from this sound.

Not sounding like “corporate rock” and not wanting to, this disc probably didn’t find its way into the mainstream until someone discovered them and started researching their back catalog. Although unheard for a while, it still stands up with their other releases to date. It’s good when you can find the roots of a band and watch them develop. “Grassroots” is a very appropriate title.

311: Nicolas Hexum - vocals, guitar; Chad Sexton - drums; S.A. - vocals; Tim Mahoney - guitar; P-Nut - bass.

For more information, check out www.311music.com.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2010 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Apr 2017 13:37:21 -0400.