Don't Tread On Me Review

artist: 311 date: 01/10/2007 category: compact discs
311: Don't Tread On Me
Released: Aug 16, 2005
Label: Volcano
Genre: Rock
Styles: Rap-Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Number Of Tracks: 11
It has a few high points and very, very few lows, but ends up leveling off somewhere in the middle. It's 311 in sepia tone.
 Sound: 8.8
 Lyrics: 7.5
 Overall Impression: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) 16 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.3
Don't Tread On Me Reviewed by: TheTallOne, on august 22, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: "Don't Tread on Me," the latest from alt/rap/reggae rockers 311, is part classic 311, and part experimental. 311 explore with their sound while trying to stay true to their roots. But basically, it's just more island reggae, with some metallic guitars. The only diffrerence is that SA has more of a vocal presence, which I thought was pretty impressive. I'll review these songs track by track: 01. Don't Tread On Me - just like all of 311's radio hits. It has a nice beat, awesome guitars, and singable chorus, but in a month we will all be sick of this song. 02. Thank Your Lucky Stars - nice intro riff and chorus, SA sort of sings on this one, it sounds reminicent of "From Chaos." I just can't really get into this song. 03. Frolic Room - very catchy, the kind of song that gets in your head for days, the song is about partying excessively. 04. Speak Easy - I could listen to this song for months and months and I would never get tired of it, nice reggae parts especially in the chorus. The beat is infectious, SA's vocals truly shine on this one. It reminds me of "Amber" and the message is really simple. 05. Solar Flare - for the first 2:00 of the song it's really great, in the lyrics, then it just falls apart, it's not so great lyrically when talking about our society. The chorus was pretty cool though. 06. Waiting - the most simplistic song lyrically but the music sounded alright, the lyrics are childish. 07. Long For The Flowers - cool song, it rocks, especially Tim's solo. 08. Getting Through To Her - this song is about abuse, the lyrics are sorta deep, but the song sounds happy, so I wasn't expecting a happy song about abuse. 09. Whiskey And Wine - a real smooth sounding and relaxing song about what else, liquor. It is a very relaxing song. 10. I'm Getting Ok Now - wow, this song rocks pretty hard, and the break down is awesome, I think Chad does some double bass work. Good song. 11. There's Always An Excuse - just like "Evolver" they end with a song that supposedly takes you on a "Journey," nice solos by Tim though, the song really takes off at the end. // 10

Lyrics: Just like all of 311's other cd's. Nick and SA are good at writing lyrics. The lyrics are pretty cool in songs like "Thank Your Lucky Stars," "Frolic Room," "Speak Easy" and parts of "Solar Flare." The lyrics go along great with the music on most of the songs, I am still kind of iffy about "Getting Through To Her." SA'a singing skills have gotten way better, while Nicks are still the same as past albums. // 8

Overall Impression: This album compares to "From Chaos" in lyrics but it doesnt sompare to any other album of theirs musically, the musicianship on this album is probably the best I've heard from them. Don't Tread On Me, Speak Easy, Long For The Flowers, and Whiskey And Wine are my favorites on this CD. I originally thought this album was gonna be good, but I wasn't sure which is why I bought Don't Tread On Me for 10 bucks when it came out at the local Circuit City. It's worth the money. // 10

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overall: 9
Don't Tread On Me Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 05, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: In terms of production and overall sound, this album sounds more or less like the next step in evolution from From Chaos and Evolver. It's Saint and 311 paired up again, so no surprise there. There aren't quite as many overdubs and production flourishes, but other than that it's more of the same. In terms of the actual music, however, there's a bit of a directional shift from their previous two albums. Nick Hexum delivered on his promise to bring the "funky reggae" rather than the smooth Amber-style reggae and rap-rock of the previous releases. Even the rock songs are more upbeat than usual so the whole album flows nicely(although transitioning from Solar Flare to Waiting was a bit extreme). The songwriting is quite possibly the best it's ever been: out of nowhere, SA has come out as a great songwriter. In fact, his songs are highlights of the album. He's taken a bit of the pressure off of Nick, and it shows. 01. Don't Tread On Me - definetely funky reggae. It's a great track with interesting lyrics and good vocal harmonies, and a cool breakdown. Everyone's heard this track by now. 02. Thank Your Lucky Stars - great rock song, upbeat music and upbeat message. The melody is cool, and when I first heard them break into the "ask me I'm not blind..." part I was blown away. Thumbs up. 03. Frolic Room - catchy, fun, and the "what are we celebrating?" line makes it a good party anthem. Upbeat rock similar to the previous song. 04. Speak Easy - another reggae song, this one's pretty relaxed. The vocal harmonies in this song (and all the other songs, really) make it almost impossible not to sing along. 05. Solar Flare - super-heavy rap-rock. In my opinion, Tim, Chad, and P-Nut do a good job of making this song heavy, and Nick and SA try a bit too hard to emphasize parts that are already groove-heavy. I would have liked to hear a faster, more relaxed rap, but that's just me. Everybody writes political lyrics these days, but these guys do a good job of making them relatable and making good points that make you think. 06. Waiting - I hate this song. The album out-take, "Little Brother" is a hell of a lot better so you can tell they just put this on here for diversity's sake. It's bouncy, but in an annoying way. The guitar solo is great though, so if your in that kind of a mood it can make the track worth hearing. 07. Long For The Flowers - great rock song. The lyrics certainly aren't album standouts, but that's objective anyway. In terms of instrumentals this song kicks a whole lot of ass. The breakdown and resulting guitar solo is pulled off perfectly by Tim Mahoney, whose always been a great lead player. 08. Getting Through To Her - I like that last reviewer's comment: a happy song about sexual abuse is a bit odd. Still, SA's looking at things from his point of view, trying to comfort a victim of this crime who he loves. Non-standard lyrical stuff but it works, and the riff during the verse is really cool. SA's writing skills have been proven. 09. Whiskey And Wine - another great SA song, although the highlight is really Nick's reggae breakdown in the middle. It's a slower song, but fortunately there's really nothing on this album like the mid-album nap time of "Beyond the Gray Sky" and "Seems Uncertain" from Evolver. It definetely holds your interest. 10. It's Getting Ok Now - the third and final SA track is a fast, hard rocker that has an extremely catchy chorus. The bridge sounds like Tim Mahoney's tribute to Dimebag, so no problems there. He even does that signature Dimebag distortion squeal. 11. There's Always An Excuse - long album-ender like on Evolver. It's cool and catchy, but I usually can't bring myself to listen to the whole thing. It's quite different from the rest of the album. The beginning is some good reggae however. A lot of people like 311's new direction, some don't. Either way, SA and Nick make a great songwriting duo. This is the most fresh and interesting album since Grassroots. // 9

Lyrics: Mostly typical 311 fair. THe stay positive message is still broadcasted at every opportunity. Still, they are getting better and the songs are more direct, without any of Nick's bad rapping. There are even some totally unique moments lyrically like Getting Through to Her and Whiskey and Wine. // 8

Overall Impression: Probably tied with Grassroots as the best 311 album, but everyone has their own opinion on that subject. After the uncertainty and monotony of the last album, this is definetely a step in the right direction. I bought this album the day it came out, and I'd do it again. // 10

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overall: 8.3
Don't Tread On Me Reviewed by: Revalk, on november 24, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The first thing I thought about when I first listened to this album was about how much this band has matured. If you are familiar at all with the bands early work (Damnit, Unity, Music), you'll know that when these guys started out, there were mixes of snappy, almost harsh guitar, waves of slap bass, and in general, an extremely fast, quick style on vocals, bass, guitars, and drums combined. Don't Tread On Me is to me almost the exact opposite. Every song is tight, highly melodic, and there are some beautiful instrument mixes going on. The melody is probably what screams out most to me in this CD, and I have to say I was presently surprised by Martinez. Normally, his vocal stylings tend towards the rap end of most songs, however, on this disc he prominently sings, and sings well. It's a new sound for 311, but not enough of a change that I think old fans will find any dislike. This album is not the funk-pop-rock-rap albums 311 are very well known for, but I still thorougly enjoyed every track on the album. Whether you're a grassroots (wink) fan, or have never heard a track, I'd say you wont be let down by the $15-20 price, or you'd feel bad for downloading it (not that they don't have the money). // 8

Lyrics: They lyrics on this song live up to 311's typical excellence. I've always really appreciated the combination of writing styles from both Hexom and Martinez, and this album is no different. I listened to this album probably a dozen times or so within the first couple weeks of owning it, and that was months ago, but I could call up the lyrics to most songs without having to think too much. They are catchy, interesting, and intelligent. The lyrics also speak of they're maturation over the years. Many of the songs are about simply appreciating life, love, and what you've found. These songs wont blow your mind or break out ideas that have never before been processed by the human mind, but they speak simple truths that I think many of us have forgotten. Even if you are one who doesn't care about lyrics in the smallest way, the melodies behind the lyrics will probably have you singing them to yourself a day or two after. // 8

Overall Impression: My overall impression of the album is pretty high. I'd say it's at least on par with they're previous albums, but as aforementioned, is a very new sound for 311 in comparison. Some notable songs in my opinion would be the title track, Don't Tread on Me, Waiting, and It's Getting OK Now. Don't Tread on Me (which you've probably heard on the radio) seems to pull back to some of 311'a older more melodic songs. It combines some smooth roots with the infamous ska groove, to yield an overall great song. Waiting definately displays some of Martinez's seemingly new found vocal talents as well as the maturity the band has found. It's getting okay now is a more guitar driven track, with some pretty cool riffs. They combine the regular power chords with a tonne of runs up and down scales that are smooth, in my opinion, they probably make the song. Overall, I can't say there is a track on this album I don't like, and I'm very curious to see what further releases sounds like. I've gave this album to a bunch of my buddies to check out, from ska lovers, to hardcore metal lovers, and got good responses all around. // 9

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overall: 7
Don't Tread On Me Reviewed by: eddiethedino, on january 10, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: 311 is like no other band on the planet. The way their instruments mesh together, even though they come from different styles of rock. And their lyrics and vocals are way different than any thing else. On this album it seems as though they finally got it all together, the way they intended to back in the music and grassroots days (hell yes). This is a good album from 311. It combimes the greatness of all their other albums into one. I'm a huge fan of 311, every one that knows me knows I know almost too much abuot their music. Buy this album! I'm a grassroots fan, what does that say to you, yeah exactly it's worth the cost // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics and singing in this album are all though different. S.A. Martinez (backup vocals & turn tables) seems to have a much greater part in singing than previously. He's improved so much over the years, no doubt about it. Nick Hexum, although, seems to be in the same range and have the same amount of talent as before, wich isn't a bad thing at all. He too tries to sing a lot more in this album. The albums lyrics are missing the rap part of their music though. What made most fans fall in love with 311 is the fact that they succesfully combined rap into rock, perfectly, the way god intended it to be. But it seems as though they've fallen away from their grassroots, I know, I know, that was terrible. But really 311 needs to put back in the rap essence of their music. Hopefully the next album will have it. But overall it seems as though their singing is coming into play more so, next album should be a combination of all of it. // 6

Overall Impression: I like the album, not as good as the self titled album (also known as the "Blue Album"), grassroots, or music, but it's good. I would spend the money, or just download it off of your favorite illegal file sharing sight (which is a horrible thing to do but what ever). // 7

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