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Transistor

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Album Review

311, the eclectic musical quintet whose unique and hypnotic blend of reggae, funk, hard rock and hip-hop reached a world audience with the success of their self-titled 1995 album, return with Transistor, their fourth release for Capricorn Records and their most fully realized and ambitious recording yet. It's a heady blend of styles that makes the amalgam that is 311 work so wonderfully, and as guitarist-vocalist Nick Hexum has said, "Transistor is our way of saying that all living things are connected, that we are all conductors of electricity — that we're all part of the same massive energy source and in this way, we're all equal." Tracks like the mesmerizing dub cut of "Inner Light Spectrum," the funk of "No Control," the hip-hop flavor of "The Continuous Life" and almost brutal soundscape of "What Was I Thinking?" (complete with walkie-talkie vocal sounds) showcase the band's love for diverse musical styles and their ability to blend them together into something new, fresh and compelling. Out of respect for their fan base, the group manages to cram all 21 songs onto one compact disc, saving their mavens a little loose change left over for T-shirts, stickers and posters, all advertised on the inside.

Biography

Formed: 1990 in Omaha, NE

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

311's fusion of reggae and rap-metal was created in Omaha, Nebraska, where singer/guitarist Nick Hexum, DJ/singer S.A. Martinez, guitarist Tim Mahoney, drummer Chad Sexton, and the bassist known only as P-Nut launched the group in 1990. Taking their name from the Omaha Police Department's code for indecent exposure, the quintet began gigging locally and soon moved to Los Angeles, signing with Capricorn Records in 1991. 311 then translated their regional success into national recognition with several...
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Transistor, 311
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