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Album Reviews, Audio Feedback: Music Blogjams

Hot Sauce Committee Part Two – Beastie Boys (Capitol)

9/10

“Pass me the scalpel, I’ll make an incision.
I’ll cut off the part of your brain that does the bitchin
Put it in formaldehyde and put it on the shelf
And you can show it to your friends and say “that’s my old self””

Haha! Oh yes. That’s right. Brace yourselves guys and gals because there’s no place to hide. The Beasties are back and, love ‘em or lump ‘em, they WILL be cornering you with a whole new barrage of their uniquely riotous yell-rap. But apparently, this time, they intend to “party for the right to fight”… well whatever, welcome back Boys. It’s been a while.

Can I just mention, right off the bat, that I didn’t really have a problem with the much-maligned 2004 album – wow, has it really been that long? – ‘To The 5 Boroughs’. Sure I prefer the delectable buffets on offer when I visit Paul’s Boutique, Ill Communication or Hello Nasty, but the less sample-clogged Boroughs did at least forefront the lyrical wit that was mostly trampled by robot electronics on their previous LP Hello Nasty.

Excuse the digression, but this is the effect each new Beastie Boys release has. It fills me with a warm, glowing nostalgia for their past triumphs, even when their shiny new effort comes armed and ready with yet more Crazy Ass Shit and Funky Donkey distinction.

So, what of Hot Sauce Committee Part Two? Well actually, I’m quite tempted to scratch that out and call it Hello Nasty Part 2 instead. That’s because on this album the Beastie Boys stomp unerringly back through time, beyond the stripped back political blustering of the 5 Boroughs, and snatch up the futuristic electro hip-hop of 1998’s Hello Nasty, and then re-programme, re-energise, and damn well re-FUNKify it into a boisterous new beast.

You may have thought there was a lot going on in that last sentence. Well just you wait until you stick Hot Sauce Committee Part Two in your lugholes.

The buzzing synths and beefy bass frequencies of Make Some Noise kick us off, a song you’re probably already recovering from in one way or another, and this fervency doesn’t let up for a relentless and frankly exhausting 45 minutes. But then what did you expect? Every richly textured track fires more immature enthusiasm at you than a loaded Super Soaker rifle, and each comes crammed with such a plethora of delights and surprises that 10 listens down the line you’ll still be discovering new aspects to giggle at.

No wonder it sports a kaleidoscopic front cover; this thing is a kaleidoscope for the EARS… if that’s in any way possible. One minute we get the warped zooming bass of Too Many Rappers, the next we get the throwback punk of Lee Majors Come Again, and before you know it we’re revelling in the jaunty ska bounce of Don’t Play No Game I Can’t Win. This last song by the way, featuring Santigold, seems to have wantonly stolen the hook from Kelis’s ‘Trick Me’. Astonishingly, I’m not complaining about this.

Now, I perfectly understand the beef many people have with the Beastie Boys. Their lyrics and delivery are still, to this day, as juvenile and in your face as ever. So if you’ve despised them up to this point only a complete image overhaul will prevent you from recoiling now. That’s fair enough. However, if their all-action approach has already you won over, no matter which Beastie Boys era you subscribe to most, you’ll find Hot Sauce Committee Part Two is a bright, frothy cocktail of all the ingredients that has made this New York trio so uniquely enjoyable for a full quarter of a century. And I salute them… but then I was already convinced. Here’s to never growing up.

Ch-Check It Out If You’re Partial To – the Beastie Boys at all, but especially Hello Nasty; unbridled enthusiasm that WILL NOT BE TAMED; chuckling your way through an entire album; having fun; never growing old… that’s right, they’re the real life Lost Boys; hearing MCA’s beloved growling rap again after his recent brush with cancer; lavishly produced electronics; ch-checking out the hip-hop act this particular section of Blogjammin references in EVERY album review…

Fantastic Track – Make Some Noise… I was going to choose Too Many Rappers but this brilliant star-studded video starring Ted Danson, Frodo and even Job out of Arrested Development being struck by a hurled beer, proved too irresistable

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