Released: June 8, 2004
Reviewed by Scott Olivenbaum
It is hard to believe that 14 years have past since 311 splashed their way onto the hard rock scene after opening for bands like Fugazi. The Omaha, Nebraska quintet that somehow perfectly captured the laid-back California sound has released a greatest hits compilation. Over their career 311 has leapt from small college radio playlists to regular rotation on every major video network and rock radio station.
On the new disc 311 collected 15 tracks from their discography – from 1993’s “Do You Right” to this year’s Cure cover “Love Song” – remixed and/or remastered them and added two new, unreleased tracks to sweeten the deal. The retrospective, titled Greatest Hits ’93-’03, shows how the band uses a smooth funk flavor in whatever sound they attempt – from the rap-rock of the classic “Down” to the California sunset of “Amber”. Other familiars on the compilation include “All Mixed Up” and “Come Original”. The two new songs, “How Do You Feel?” and “First Straw” show the two sides of 311’s sound – the former being aggressive rap-rock while the latter is chill stoner reggae.
It is always worth being wary of any compilation album, but Greatest Hits ’93-’03 has enough to tempt long-time fans and newbies alike into picking it up.