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Stereolithic [LP]

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311 31/1/2014

Review

311's eleventh studio-album, 2014's Stereolithic, finds the long-running rap-rock ensemble sticking to their time-tested sound, while displaying a more mature lyrical sense and a deepened sense of their musical influences. The band's first completely independent release since their 1993 debut, Stereolithic reunites 311 with producer Scott "Scotch" Ralston, who previously helmed the band's 1997 album Transistor and 1998's Soundsystem. The pairing clearly works, and in a lot of ways, Stereolithic sounds like a classic 311 album. Still present are lead singer Nick Hexum's laid-back croon, Doug "SA" Martinez's positive-minded raps, guitarist Tim Mahoney's slick yet fuzz-heavy rock sound, and bassist Aaron "P-Nut" Willis and drummer Chad Sexton's funky, dance-oriented rhythms. Stereolithic is a longer album at 15 tracks, with a heavy emphasis on songs built around the rub between Mahoney's deep sonic guitar slabs and Hexum's sweet-toned vocals. Tracks like "Ebb and Flow," "Revelation of the Year," and "The Great Divide" are old-school, funk-infused jams rooted in '90s grunge and alternative hip-hop aesthetic. Their maturity comes through in the band's use of harmonies, subtle melodic devices, and lyrics that find Hexum and the rest of 311 contemplating their harried adult lives as aging rock stars. On "Ebb and Flow," Martinez raps, "Always on the go and you're thirty thirty/ Gotta make the ends and get dirty dirty/Will it ever end?/Is it worthy?" Ultimately, this increased sense of self-reflection pays off, as we find that on Stereolithic, 311 have crafted a mature, sophisticated album that’s made the group more than worthy of our time than ever before. [Stereolithic was also released on LP.] ~ Matt Collar
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Ebb and Flow 311 null:null
  3. 2 Five of Everything 311 null:null
  4. 3 Showdown 311 null:null
  5. 4 Revelation of the Year 311 null:null
  6. 5 Sand Dollars 311 null:null
  7. 6 Boom Shanka 311 null:null
  8. 7 Make It Rough 311 null:null
  9. 8 The Great Divide 311 null:null
  10. 1 Friday Afternoon 311 null:null
  11. 2 Simple True 311 null:null
  12. 3 First Dimension 311 null:null
  13. 4 Made In the Shade 311 null:null
  14. 5 Existential Hero 311 null:null
  15. 6 The Call 311 null:null
  16. 7 Tranquility 311 null:null

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