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311

It's hard to believe 311's been at it for 20-plus years, especially when listening to the band's recently released 12th album, Uplifter. (Well, it's actually the band's 15th, if you count three early indie records that were later compiled to form the Omaha Sessions in 1998.) The new disc more than lives up to its name and finds the band seemingly light-years removed from its humble beginnings as a struggling reggae/hip-hop fusion act in Nebraska. Now based in Los Angeles, the multiplatinum-selling group still draws hordes of fervent fans to amphitheaters on every tour and performs with the same zeal and dedication to those fans that it's shown since 1991. That, combined with the band's mellow message of unity, is a big part of the reason for the rabidity of the band's fan base. Another is, of course, the music. And whether you get the side of 311 with grinding, hard-rocking guitars and churning bass lines or the side with the noodling, reggae-ska vibe, it'll always kick ass.

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Christopher Lopez

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