It's hard to believe that a group as limited as 311 has been around for more than a decade. It's even more baffling, when you consider that it still regularly places albums in the Top 10. The Nebraska-bred quintet, which includes a member who calls himself P-Nut, recently released its sixth album, From Chaos
, which pretty much sounds like everything else it's recorded. That means there are plenty of winking raps and rhymes (with sly drug undertones), white-boy funk beats, and a whole mess of hip-hop-meets-rock sounds that sounded somewhat novel seven years ago. In the new millennium, however, and in the age of nu-metal excess, where every guitar band employs its own DJ, 311 is about as relevant as a new Ace of Base album. The microphone battles between S.A. Martinez and Nick Hexum -- neither of whom has ever been tops in his field -- are lazy and uninspired. And the songs on From Chaos
sound like leftovers from past, more successful efforts. Originally conceived as a party band for their Omaha pals, the guys have since relocated to Los Angeles -- which makes sense, since their ska-fused punk seems to go over well there -- and have made friends with such luminaries as Shaquille O'Neal (who appears in the video for From Chaos
's first single, "You Wouldn't Believe"). 311 claims it does its best work on the road; it's spent roughly half of the past decade touring. Here's your chance to see for yourself, when P-Nut and the gang roll into town Saturday to close out Nautica's season. Be prepared for all the big hits -- "All Mixed Up," "Down," "Come Original," etc. -- and a special shout-out to anyone who can tell the difference among them.