From Chaos


Volcano, 2001

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


Emerging with their best record since the self-titled disc that made them stars, 311 adds a new element to their sound and creates one of their better album-length releases. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

There are plenty of the funk-rap-rock-ska hybrids here that made the band famous, but where this one shines is the near-ballads, the shimmering "Amber" and the moody, hypnotic “I'll Be Here Awhile,” featuring the best vocal performance from Nick Hexum ever put to disc.

The band is very fond of this release, calling it their best-performed album to date, and that remains the case. While 311 was energetic and original, it still had its share of underdeveloped filler, but six years later the band has worked out the kinks and can balance manic energy with professionalism, although the faster songs skew toward the latter at this point.

“You Wouldn't Believe” is the best of these, with a muscular bass riff and restrained, floating vocals working together until the chorus erupts. “Hostile Apostle” is a stylistic jumble in a good way, an original, downbeat tune that is underrated and not half bad. Other style additions include metal guitar on "Full Ride," the Chili Peppers alt-funk of the title track and the newfound focus and discipline of, well, every song.

The lyrics are still inane ("For fun I attend a jam that's super bad"), but the music remains a highlight of the band's catalog; it's a sound that uniquely belongs to this band and one that's hard to pin down. If one decides to look beyond the hits collection, From Chaos is the place to start.

Rating: B-

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