Steal the Spotlight

311 - Uplifter

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Nick Hexum - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar

Doug "SA" Martinez - Vocals, Turntables, DJ

Tim Mahoney - Lead Guitar

Aaron "P-Nut" Wills - Bass guitar

Chad Sexton - Drums, Programming, Percussion


             Over a dozen years later a band, which is named with a simple number, stands tall and strong. The rock band from Omaha called 311 hits the stores again with their 9th studio album. It all started back in 1989, when I was a mere 5 years old. Hexmu began his own label for the purpose of releasing 311 albums. They do so three times and then were signed by Capricorn Records. Shortly after the release of the album the label stopped the tour funding. The next year album 2 hit stores. In ’95 they released their self-titled album and major success came. Step back into present day and the band is still going strong releasing Uplifter early in June. The album opens up with “Hey You.” The track grabs your attention right off the bat. The high intensity, in your face vocals are very clear and switches gears/styles a few times. The track could catch a lot of attention with the catchiness and radio friendliness. “It’s Alright” keeps that going with a fun track that could easily be danced to while in the car. The fun quirky track takes us into “Mix It Up,” a track that has a reggae feel to its vocals. “Golden Sunlight” is a slower track with a love story sound to the vocals. It still has a funky groove and if you are drunk…watch out! “India Ink” got my attention just by the title. It defiantly gets you to turn your head. The vocals are a bit strange, yet enjoyable. The lyrics on the other hand are strange and maintain strange the entire trip. I use trip because this is something that Pink Floyd could have produces during those acid trips with the far out there effects. “Daisy Cutter” opens with a sweet guitar and vocals the sooth the soul. It just floats right below the clouds with its easy going nature. “Too Much Too Fast” sounds like something Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air would listen to as “Never Ending Summer” should be a huge hit with the fans. The fun loving track is in high sprits and is infectious. “Two Drops In The Ocean” slows down once again with a cooing and seductive style. They also place in some grooves that keep the interest up throughout the entire track. “Something Out Of Nothing” begins as a serious and harder track with the dark style. It maintains that as the vocals come strolling in, walking right up to your and sucker punches you. “Jackpot” is just that for fans of the harder stuff. This is about as hard as you get out of this album. I absolutely love this album and if I seen them live I’d be screaming to hear this. It is the most infection song on the album. “My Heart Sings” ends the album as they bring in more effects and an acoustic guitar. It really ends the album on a sour note after “Jackpot.” Overall the album is okay, yeah just okay. Although it is extremely catchy, the vocals are just okay and the lyrics aren’t very strong. The music is cool in many parts, but seems to just whisk by in others. “Jackpot” is by far the best track on the album. As the title suggest to the entire album is chalked full of uplifting tracks. It’s bright and positive as it flies past, but does so with a recurring theme across the board. It’s worth taking a listen to hear a few of the more outstanding tracks.


Rating: 7.5 out of 10

My favorite tracks:

Daisy Cutter, Something Out of Nothing, and Jackpot


Track List:

  1. Hey You
  2. It’s Alright
  3. Mix It Up
  4. Golden Sunlight
  5. India Ink
  6. Daisy Cutter
  7. Too Much Too Fast
  8. Never Ending Summer
  9. Two Drops In The Ocean
  10. Something Out Of Nothing
  11. Jackpot
  12. My Heart Sings

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