http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/88802cbcf286add83a38ed4f21d94f27572bf27e.jpg Universal Pulse


Universal Pulse

311 Records
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 2 0
August 2, 2011

Give 311 points for sticking around. Since 1992 — a millennium in band-years — the Omaha, Nebraska quintet has been churning out fratty dude-rock, offering the same hopped-up ska-rock rhythms, the same sloppy funk bass, the same, um, "turntablism," in the service of an unwavering message: We rule, let's party. On album number (gulp) 10, 311 are still really freaking psyched to be 311. "Let me introduce you to/The excitable crew/This is just how we do," bellows lead singer Nick Hexum in "Time Bomb." The song titles tell the story, here ("Rock On," "Wild Nights," etc.); the reggae-rock beats and power chords are blunt, dimwitted, completely formulaic. The only surprise, after all these years, is the band's undimmed enthusiasm. "Innovation ruling the nation!" sings Hexum, ever hopeful.

Listen to "Time Bomb":

Random Notes, Rock's Hottest Photos

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Money For Nothing”

    Dire Straits | 1984

    Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

    More Song Stories entries »