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311: From ChaosFrom Chaos (2001)
Reviewer Rating: 3.5
Yeah, ok, I know 311 is a far cry from anything punk, but I felt that this album was an outstanding release and something needed to be said about it. 311 is the only non-punk band that I listen to, and that is because of their talent and emotion that really comes through on their songs. I feel that I can relate their releases to those of Rancid, who are probably one of the best punk rock groups out there today. Rancid, early in the 1990's, released their first Self-Titled cd, which pretty much summed up their talent and showed that they could thrash with the best. They followed with their breakthrough Let's Go! and the softer, more mainstream ...And Out Come the Wolves. Instead of selling out and recording a similiar sounding follow-up record, Rancid went with a slower, reggae sound on 1998's Life Won't Wait, and returned to their roots with the powerful sound of their second Self-Titled release in 2000.
I feel that I can directly relate 311's past albums the same way as Rancid's. In the early 1990's 311 released their debut Music and followed up on it with 1994's Grassroots, which openly defined the 311 sound. A year later, they recorded their Self-Titled 311 which broke them into the mainstream. But instead of rehashing their sounds to continue their popularity, they went with a slower, more reggae-sounding approach on 1997's Transistor and 1999's Soundsystem, before returning to their roots on From Chaos.
This Album starts with the upbeat You Get Worked and follows into the lightning-fast Sick Tight before launching into their new single, You Wouldn't Believe. The next two songs, Full Ride and From Chaos, I am kinda impartial to, but they lead into my favorite track off the cd, I Told Myself, an excellent song about controlling your urges and not making a mistake you would regret. The seventh song, Champagne, is a mellow song that is excellent but unfortunately misplaced as it precedes two of the fastest cuts on the album, Hostile Apostle and Wake Your Mind Up, which really pull from their classic early 90's sound. The tenth song on the album is Amber, a beautiful song that grooves and follows into another slower cut, Uncalm, before finishing the record off with an excellent song about maturing with your music, I'll Be Here Awhile.
Overall, even though this is not a punk release, it is an amazing disc and one that I would hope you would all listen to with open ears and an open mind.
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