311 - Uplifter
Release Date: June 2nd, 2009
Record Label: Volcano Entertainment
Gone are the days of burning tour vans, coke habits, and hit records for 311, but that doesn't seem to bother the fans who still gather en masse to catch a couple shows on each tour. With age, 311 has become far less rebellious. An increased use of subdued rhythms on each recording began to take place when Transistor was released, and five albums later there is almost a complete takeover. At this point, even the distorted guitars are relatively ambient, if not boring (the Bob Rock stamp of approval). Nonetheless, there are moments of epiphany, like the bass line during the breakdown of "It's Alright" and the harmonies that follow, not to mention the irregularly placed hooks found throughout the release.
Tim Mahoney and P-Nut stopped expanding their horizons every which way and started recycling riffs. It’s a good thing Nick Hexum and S.A. Martinez followed suit. Simple harmonies on 5ths and rhythmic melodies guide the most human element of the record, so much that a few predictable and catchy tracks occur. “Golden Sunlight” presents a tastefully constructed ambiance that escalates into an epic chorus line, only to break into a classic riff-rock driven Martinez dialogue. Other tracks like “Daisy Cutter” and “It’s Alright” are bouncy, upbeat anthems reminiscent of the Evolver sound.
For better or worse, 311’s straightforward delivery has become a hallmark of their sound. Uplifter may be missing a few of the key elements of 311’s earlier efforts yet it shows signs of the musical maturity expected of a band at this stage in their career. Summertime optimism and constructive realism dominate the ninth studio release from the veteran rockers. In the end, 311 has always promoted positivity among its followers; Uplifter is an aptly-titled, simply conveyed record that fuels their fans but leaves new listeners asking what the big deal is.
when this came out, i tried to forget about this as fast as i could. i respect the fact that they're maturing and changing their sound, but those lyrics and recycled riffs are too painful to give another chance. i'll always appreciate their previous works, but i am just going to pretend that they split up after don't tread on me. and believe it or not, these songs sound even worse live : /
I agree that this is certainly no Grassroots or Transistor...and I expected more from them 4 years after putting out DTOM. I Personally think that they should get back up and Scotch Ralston and Eddie Offord and make a super CD transistor style. Have you heard the bonus songs from Uplifter? I Like The Way, Get Down, and Sun Comes Through?