1. Creatures (For A While)
2. Reconsider Everything
3. Crack the Code
4. Same Mistake Twice
5. Beyond the Gray Sky
6. Seems Uncertain
7. Still Dreaming
8. Give Me a Call
9. Don’t Dwell
10. Other Side of Things
11. Sometimes Jacks Rule The Realm
The seventh full length album from one of the most preeminent alternative rock acts of the past fifteen years, 311.
"Evolver" was produced and mixed by 311 vet Ron Saint Germain and was recorded and mixed at The Hive, the band's personal studio in suburban Los Angeles. The album was released on July 22nd, 2003.
The album debuted at #7, the highest debut for a 311 album since 1997's Transistor. Its two singles had varied success. While Creatures (For a While) hit #3 on the Modern Rock Charts thus their biggest hit in almost half a decade, their other single Beyond The Gray Sky tanked.
311 co-lead singer Nick Hexum on "Evolver":
"After 14 years together as a band, I think we've really grown and evolved as people, musicians and songwriters. And we feel like our fans (and music lovers in general) have evolved right along with us. These days people just seem to be more open-minded to hybrid forms of music. We've always loved mixing rock, rap, reggae, funk, jazz, etc...because we love all types of music - and I know we're not alone. The new album will have plenty of classic 311 rockers - but as we take another step forward in the evolution of 311 - the record also branches out into some new territory. All of this led us to the title "Evolver" (along with a love for the Beatles album "Revolver"). We think it suits the album perfectly. We're all really excited about the new songs and we can't wait to share them with you."
I thought 311 had waned a bit. I had enjoyed their 2001 effort From Chaos, yet I was used to 311 giving me something rare that few bands could give me. Immediate satisfaction after my first listen and then, after that first listen, being constantly hooked on the entire album. From Chaos didn't give me this, and either did Transistor, which came two albums before From Chaos. I came to love both albums like every other 311 album, but yet I was slow to warm to both of them.
Yet "Evolver" gave me new hope that 311 wasn't nearing an end of musical progression in the slightest. The band does a good amount of musical experimentation that goes over quite well on "Evolver." The band uses a flute on Seems Uncertain, dual acoustic guitars on Sometimes Jacks Rule the Realm, and the whole album ends with a bass guitar, vibraphone, double bass harmonica jam. Not to mention the bands constant effort to challenge their abilities with their common instruments quite often.
Yet it's the usual 311 stuff along with the experimentation that really made this album fantastic. With the explosive extended guitar intro in Reconsider Everything, P-Nut's ability to still make my mouth drop with a great bass guitar riff in Don't Dwell, S.A Martinez's bridge in Other Side of Things, Chad Sexton's ability to blend drum styles from all over and Nick Hexum's incredibly distinctive voice are just a couple of reasons why "Evolver" was my hands down favorite album of 2003.