Will be away for the weekend so this week's review comes a little early
As promised, a once-over of the new 311 EP "Universal Pulse"
Given that the sound is decidedly rock'n'roll (although the dancehall and reggae touches are still there) and Bob Rock produced, one would expect this to be a collection of leftovers from "Uplifter" - not quite so much. 311 have always been a hard-touring band, and this album is just the perfectly-timed disc to celebrate that. It opens with the stomping, ready-for-live-show "Time Bomb" - an affirmation of all they are and a catchy nod-your-head-to-the-beat jam wrapped up in a nice tight package.
The celebratory bent comes through even further with the timing of the release...well, "Sunset In July", anyone? This track, surely the best from this collection, gives a great purpose statement. If you're a fan, you hardly need one, but it serves as a great rallying call for fresh listeners - i.e. "Here, this is what we've always done, feel free to reach back and check us out, all the way back to our debut".
And for those who wonder how long they might keep this up, the final track says it quite clearly "A million miles and a ways to go" - 311 clearly isn't stopping any time soon.