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From Chaos

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Album Review

Upon 311's vigorous return, vocalist S.A. Martinez declares, "I'm on a new high with a pen and a pad, and for fun I attend a jam that's super bad." While the members of the Omaha-bred quintet aren't lyrical rocket scientists, these disciples of positivity have nonetheless re-emerged "on a new high" with "a jam that's super bad." From Chaos astonishes and impresses with considerable energy and focus, proving itself as the album 311 has always been capable of making. With Tim Mahoney's razor-edged riffing and Nick Hexum and Martinez's super-charged vocals, their Volcano label debut rocks harder and rides smoother than each preceding effort. Amidst their signature hip-hop/heavy rock/reggae hybrid, 311 additionally blends surf guitar over jungle beats, merges punk guitar with dancehall, and introduces ska, à la Hexum's autobiographical "I'll Be Here Awhile," to their sonic repertoire. Tracks such as the carpe diem-inspired "Wake Your Mind Up" and the boastful "Sick Tight" prove the quintet hasn't forsaken their old-school formula, while the amorous "Amber," perhaps their most charming composition, exhibits a melodic versatility and musical ambition unlike many of their pigeonholed contemporaries. Under the technical lead of veteran producer and engineer Ron Saint Germain (aka Saint), From Chaos effectively "captures the energy of the live shows," per bassist P-Nut, and despite the band's growing musical complexity, each selection remains a perfect candidate for the well-traveled road ahead. Drummer Chad Sexton affirms "it's our best-performed record," and despite the album's semi-ironic title, he couldn't be more right. Moreover, this enhanced CD provides entertaining eye candy, which offers bandmember interviews, studio photos, and trailers from both Enlarged to Show Detail videos. Whether employing the computer or stereo for amusement, From Chaos is the sonic cornerstone for remarkably original rap-metal. ~ Jacob N. Lunders, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Grassroots Part 2

The albums Transistor, and Soundsystem were taking room for 311 to expand musically, away. Grassroots and The Blue Album gave the band their flawless signature sound. Transistor re-vamped it with synthesizers and technological works, but sometimes made the band lazy and awkward. Soundsystem returned to the sounds of The Blue Album, which was a good thing, but the band stuck to an over-positive and Mid-tempo flow, that lacked the invigorating energy of 311's earlier works. Now, on From Chaos, 311 continue learning to fix themselves and climb their way right back up to the level of brilliance they were at on Grassroots. From Chaos is an unbelievable album. The band's energy has returned ten-fold, and their charm has surpassed itself. You Get Worked, Sick Tight, and Wake Your Mind Up, are fast rap-rock beats that sound like they are fresh out of 1995's blue album, but with a more modern flavor, making them fantastic tracks. You Wouldn't Believe, Full Ride, and I Told Myself, Utilize 311's signature sound and talents with new ideas and a more oven-fresh style. Champagne, Amber, and I'll Be Here Awhile are all softer, beautiful, unmistakably original pieces that show 311 are master song-writers. From Chaos is 311 adding new ideas and modern flavors to their successful Grassroots/Blue Album formula. Every track is beautiful, catchy, and memorable, making From Chaos 311's second-best work.

excellent band, excellent album

Amber is my all time favorite song of theirs.

What a difference 8 years makes

I loved From Chaos when it first came out, but with the hindsight of 8 years and two not-so-great albums, it really becomes apparent just how good From Chaos actually is. Easily one of their top three albums.


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...
Full Bio
From Chaos, 311
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