There are many questions in life that go unanswered. Which A&R man out there heard Crazy Town and thought ‘What a great band!’? How do Man. Utd get away with so much? And why the hell haven’t 311 ever got the hit record that they deserve? While penalties will never be awarded at Old Trafford, there is still hope for California’s 311 and, on the back of ’From Chaos’, this could be a change in fortune for the genre skipping five piece.
Unlike 1999’s ‘Sound System’, 311 have concocted a group of tunes that maintain the bands diversity but also manage to blend in a more natural manner. Starting in Nu-metal, taking a short cut through Dub and a quick walk through reggae and ska, 311 almost manage to master all styles they attempt. Most of this has to be credited to some of the finest musicianship in all of music. Tim Mahoney cranks out spiky and instant riffs and Chad Sexton slams out the break-beats that provide the perfect companion to P-Nut’s usual god-like bass performance. All this said, it’s a pity the rapping qualities on show are so Vanilla Ice it hurts.
The band have pulled a massive coup by releasing this in the middle of August as the likes of ‘Amber’ and ‘I’ll Be Here a While’ are the soundtrack to the perfect summer day. And, even if you’re not feeling the happy summer vibes, there’s no cause for concern, there’s plenty of other flavours on offer. ‘Wake Your Mind Up’_ and ‘You Get Worked’ get down and dirty, kicking ass like Incubus’ harder rocking older brothers while the albums title-track detonates in an explosion of reggae and melodic metal. True, as is standard with 311, there’s also your fair share of fillers but that never stopped the Chili Peppers achieving worldwide success, did it?
Once again, 311 have brought together genres that seem incomprehensible on paper but truly blow your mind when coming out of your stereo system. ’From Chaos’ is unlike anything you’ll hear this year and, if you don’t mind broadening your musical palette, this could be one of the best too. Let’s just hope people buy the damn thing this time ‘round.
8Terry Bezer's Score