The ’90s stronghold band 311 will release its 11th studio album on March 11, which is dubbed 311DAY. This release further marks the first indie release from the band since its early unsigned days. Stereolithic is by far is the best album to date, with 15 tracks that will please not only the causal listener but also diehard fans. The alt-rockers in 311 transitioned from the early ’90s into the present with a free-flowing mixture of rock, infused with reggae and rap blends. Stereolithic creates the perfect pitch of honest music that, at about an hour in length, leaves your head lost in a sea of lofty clouds, while your toes touch cool waters.
“Ebb and Flow” starts the album off strongly. The lyrics “the lights are on, but no one is home” and “living within a dream” thrust the listener past the catchy hooks and jam rock, sinking further into the meaning of the song.
“Five of Everything” uses a sweet sentimentality that pushes the listener to move forward, while embracing the now. “Showdown” acts as a warning before the strike, allowing the listener to see and taste red while listening to the song. Still, a sense of urgency abounds in “Revelation of the Year” with its line, “Don’t get stuck in the destruction over here.”
“Friday Afternoon” has endearing, sentimental and thoughtful qualities that make it a candidate for best song on Stereolithic. If not “Friday Afternoon,” then “Showdown” deserves the title.
“Tranquility” shows 311 has come full circle, with a bittersweet send-off that is truly transcendent and graceful in its goodbye.
Thematically, many of the songs revolve around moving on and moving forward on Stereolithic. A sense of invigorated life breathed into 311 leaves the listener caught between one instance and the next, yet still yearning to stay anchored in this moment. Some of the fun, funk and psychedelic rock that 311 lays down with an eerie perfection on Stereolithic also carries a thought-provoking journey for the listener.