Vinyl Vlog #213

Vinyl Vlog #213

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Friday, 31 March 2017
COLUMN

311
Selftitled

Have you considered the reputation 311 gets nowadays? I’ll refer you to a running gag on the Eric Andre show where they substitute the names 311 and 911 when quoting conspiracies. These were followed by surf-rock-type flailing and hippy dancing. At the end of last season they actually had 311 on to torture while they performed Down. It’s all in good fun, however, as Andre has gone on record saying that he thinks 311 is an underrated band.

I tend to agree with Eric Andre. 311 reminds me of my high school cafeteria, Airwalks, and Jnco jeans. It was a time of self-discovery and we explored the depths of music to questionable degrees. We thought aliens were cool and mysterious.

One thing was for sure, 311 had the ability to transcend genres because the metal heads, punks and rappers all seemed to appreciate 311 to some degree. Listen to a 311 compilation (oh come on, do it), and you’ll realize that these Idaho boys have truly churned out the hits over the years. Twenty years later and it’s time to revisit their catalog in vinyl format. Their selftitled album (also known as the blue album) finds the band at the height of their popularity: their music sounded fresh and the hits just kept coming. A single spin and it’s easy to see why 311 were right to strike while the iron was hot. In a pool of tired grunge music andBritpop brattyness, this band sounded new. Back them it was hard to place 311’s music: it was rap, metal, psychedelic, chill, and skate all rolled into one. And twenty years later, it stands remarkably well on its own yet still sounding unquestionably like 311.

311 is as far from one-hit wonders as you can get, but this band will still probably be forever defined by the songs on this album. And that’s a pretty good thing. If you grew up in the 90s and didn’t listen to this album, you just weren’t there.

 

 

 

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