The String Quartet Tribute to 311

Vitamin String Quartet

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The String Quartet Tribute to 311 Review

by Johnny Loftus

Beginning with 1995's Grassroots, this string tribute to 311 moves through a hit-filled set that includes takes on "Down," "Amber," "Come Original," and "You Wouldn't Believe" all the way through 2003's "Creatures (For a While)." Given, these violin, viola, and cello treatments are about as far as one can aesthetically get from the rapping, reggae, alt rock, and funk of the band's originals; but that doesn't mean they don't work. The musicians here focus on the material's hooks and swirling melodies, and sometimes uncover connections that weren't as apparent under the din of 311's instrumentation. "Beautiful Disaster" is a highlight, as is the multi-part verse section of "All Mixed Up," where a cello churns out the bassline and violins emulate the vocal interplay of co-frontmen S.A. Martinez and Nick Hexum. Recommended for 311 fans into expanding their horizons.

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