Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2

January 01, 1970

(Capitol)

 

www.capitolrecords.com

 

The last time we listened to
the Beasties, To the 5 Boroughs was spare and rife with elements of
grave import based on a city in ruins in the wake of the Twin Towers’
demise. Safe (any Beasties joint is a good Beasties joint) but unmemorable,
that album signaled something more than a maturation process. It signaled
security in the face of imminent danger. Multicolored alarm charts didn’t rile
the Beasties. It brought them home to roost. That’s cool. It was a balm.
Thankfully this new effort finds our New
York heroes facing mortality for sure, what with Adam
Yauch’s cancer scare and remission. Only this time, the interpersonal tragedy
of death and disease is met with a cream pie, fart riddles and its most
innovative sounding record in years.

 

We- and they – are better for
it.

 

It’s not that we don’t like
Woody Allen when he’s serious. But like the landed aliens in Stardust
Memories
who embrace the comedian when asked how to fix the world’s ills,
the answer must’ve been as clear to Mike D, MCA and Ad-Rock in 2010 as it was
to Allen: tell funnier jokes. Decades after Licensed to Ill thrilled
legions of dippy Caucasoids, the trio is still of the frat. Only now, they’re
the wise elders and literate rhymers who head back to the old school to wreak
lyrical havoc atop the sort of dense grooves that made Check Your Head swing and analog electro-synth kicks that made Hello Nasty do the Robot.

 

The old school of rap, of
course, raises its ugly head (gratefully) throughout HSCPP2. What is the
laffy taffy of “Make Some Noise” and “Too Many Rappers [New Reactionaries
Version]” if not hip hop’s first line of offense from backinaday? Braggadocio
BronxQueens style with Yauch’s ragged rage cutting through the in-tandem whine
of Mike Diamond and Adam Horowitz like a piping hot machete through motzah.
Bringing Santogold’s voice in on the new wave vibe of “Don’t Play No Game That
I Can’t Win” is cool, but unnecessary. What was necessary was the manner in
which the trio crack themselves up in song (and skits, don’t forget the dippy
skits like “The Lisa Lisa/Full Force Routine”) while preening and barking to
some of the most lively provocative kinetic arrangements of their career.

 

Bravo, men. You’re back to
being boys.

 

DOWNLOAD: “Nonstop Disco Powerpack,” “Say It,” “Here’s a Little Something For Ya” A.D.
AMOROSI

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