311
311


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Allen USER (107 Reviews)
January 21st, 2010 | 29 replies | 10,171 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Energy is a beautiful thing.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

What is it about your favorite bands that make them stand head and shoulders above the rest? At times it’s the musicianship, the passion, the creativity, or the attitude. For 311, it’s the energy and the creativity that separates the band from the rest of its mainstream peers. From the beginning of 311’s career, the band has developed the reputation of being a spectacular live group; their reggae/rock/rap fusion translating beautifully to the outdoor concert performance. 311’s combination of genres is reminiscent of early Incubus and Red Hot Chili Peppers, the latter being a pioneer at fusing these different types of music together. What you get with 311 is essentially “BloodSexSugarMagik”-era Red Hot Chili Peppers with more rapping and more reggae. The band’s sound is actually quite interesting, and is only elevated by the tremendous energy the band brings. The energy proved to be a major facilitator of the success of 311’s early 1990’s records; for both “Music” and especially “Grassroots” received a great deal of critical acclaim.

The chemistry of vocalists S.A. Martinez and Nick Hexum is incredible to say the least. Hexum generally takes the lead, but this remains to be clear due to the fact that they tend to trade off very frequently. S.A. seems to have a voice better suited for the rapping sections, but also demonstrates more versatility and talent than his counterpart. Hexum however, may be better recognized as the face of the band; his rapid fire, yet simplistic method is what 311 is associated with in the present day. Contrary to what you might believe, Hexum and S.A. have the potential for remarkable harmonies, and do not hold this back. Opener Down, while being one of the more famous 311 songs, is a perfect representation of the styles of each vocalist. On top of what is the record’s heaviest track, S.A. aggressively raps with Hexum chiming in with, “We've changed a lot and then some, some. You know that we have always been down, down.” Not only is Down undoubtedly an underscore of the record, but also presents the listener with precisely what the band is about.

Amidst the heavy rock-rap of Hive and Guns (Are for Pussies) are tracks such as All Mixed Up and Purpose in which provide 311’s self-titled released with some much needed variety. The former is another one of 311’s most well-known songs, and a great one at that. The band’s reputation as a summer group could very well have been adopted from this track, which is one of the more reggae-infused songs in the band’s illustrious catalog. Along with the summery-vibe that All Mixed Up gives off, S.A. and Hexum’s vocal performances are flawless; both adapting to the chilled atmosphere with great precision. Purpose begins as though it will be even more of your traditional reggae track, but eventually shifts into 311’s trademark hard rock choruses. The “hidden gem” of the album could very well be Don’t Stay Home; neither lacking in the melodic nor creativity departments.

311’s self-titled release is an intriguing listen, and an excellent one at that. While nothing overly spectacular is contained throughout the fourteen song track-list, the band has plenty of tricks up their sleeve that are unleashed on the album. Like its predecessor, “311” managed to receive critical acclaim and radio airplay, which is something that is to be desired by many bands in the present day. The summer-vibe of this record may not instantaneously warm up the weather at this time of year however, can only provide us with the opportunity to dream about it.

Recommended Tracks:
Down
All Mixed Up
Hive
Purpose
Don’t Stay Home
T & P Combo



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user ratings (314)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
EVedder27
January 21st 2010



6088 Comments


I honestly don't think this is all that great (the review) and I struggled through it.

Ponton
Emeritus
January 21st 2010



5784 Comments


Very good review, Mike. The only thing I know about this band is that Anberlin covered one of their songs, and a guy on my dorm level has posters of these guys on his door. Pos.

Edit: The review's fine and of good quality.

EverythingEvil2113
January 21st 2010



1279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love these guys, one of a handful of bands in nebraska to make it big. you're right about them being great outdoors, saw em a couple summers ago and it was the best show i think i've been too.

good review too.

EVedder27
January 21st 2010



6088 Comments


Thanks guys. Jared you've probably heard a few of their songs before on the radio; Down, All Mixed Up, and Amber were big radio hits.

Ponton
Emeritus
January 21st 2010



5784 Comments


I definitely know love song, but I'll stream Amber on Youtube.

It does remind me of the chili peppers... I do recognize this.

EVedder27
January 21st 2010



6088 Comments


Amber is probably my favorite of their singles.

EverythingEvil2113
January 21st 2010



1279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Amber is great. My favorite single however would have to be either Creatues For a While or Come Original.

EVedder27
January 21st 2010



6088 Comments


Ahh solid choices as well.

klap
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2010



10258 Comments


amber fucking takes me back

Digging: The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven

PuddlesPuddles
January 21st 2010



4767 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Amber fucking takes my virginity


;) Which would be gross because thats the name of my brother's gf but anyway

Also, that is one of 311's worst songs

How is Loco not a recommended trackkk

halloway
January 21st 2010



684 Comments


i played the piss out of this record in middle school. good band, good times. loved hive and misdirected hostility.

but they pretty much took a giant dump after soundsystem though.

WatchItExplode
January 22nd 2010



3208 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Make an instumental...add a little vocal...

yeah, 311 rules...nice to have a good 311 review Mike

IRAI
January 22nd 2010



1567 Comments


oh shit, i just nostalgia'd.

Nagrarok
January 22nd 2010



8169 Comments


I can see you struggled in places, tbh, since you mentioned it yourself, but the review is still fine, though not up to your usual standards. Since I'm reviewing the Peppers and all, I should check this out.

EVedder27
January 22nd 2010



6088 Comments


Thanks guys. Nag you may like the band so its worth a try.

BigHans
January 22nd 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Still a good review. Dont be too hard on yourself, it would be easy to have a hangover after your epic The Wall review.

bloc
January 22nd 2010



34679 Comments


Keep my feet on the ground
Keep my head in the clouds
Electrified by the sound
Comes from the doooooooooooown
AND-

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Abaddon2005
January 22nd 2010



684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review and an awesome album. i'd say Martinez is a very good singer though, not just for the rap sections (check out 'Sweet'), though he showcases this more on the latter albums.

alachlahol
January 22nd 2010



7477 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the 311 love on this site is extremely low QQ

PuddlesPuddles
March 11th 2011



4767 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bumped for 3/11 Day
Bumped for T&P Combo
Bumped for Loco
Bumped for DLMD
Bumped for Jackolantern's Weather



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