Album Review: “Universal Pulse” – 311

Artist: 311
Album: “Universal Pulse”
Release date: July 19, 2011

I very casually listen to 311. I enjoy the work of bassist P-Nut a lot, seeing has a good bassist goes a long way in my book musically.

With 311’s music style, P-Nut plays an integral part in the 20-year success of the band, who came out with their 10th studio effort this past Tuesday.

After two listens of “Universal Pulse” back-to-back, I have to say 311 did well. Short and sweet, this EP-like effort flowed from the first track to the eighth track. “Universal Pulse” is much better than the band’s previous effort in 2009, “Uplifter.” It blends the newer pop-ish sound pretty well with the band’s original roots that made them famous in 1995.

The thing with 311, and I noticed this despite being a very casual listener, is that all their efforts have the same drive and sound. It’s not necessarily a bad thing if the sound works (which it does in their case) but you can see where someone could get tired of 10 albums of the same music.

“Time Bomb” gives the album a powerful and explosive introduction. P-Nut’s riffs boom through the speakers, thumping even more magically on a proper system (Bose is my preference).

The third track, “Sunset in July” is the album’s first single. It’s at a slower pace than the first two songs on the album, making it the best option for a first single..”Time Bomb” as the potential to reach radio play as well.

Other notable songs on the album include the final two tracks, “Weightless,” and “And A Ways to Go.” The latter of the two has a beautiful bottom to it, once again thanks to P-Nut’s playing.



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