Music review: Beastie Boys, Hot Sauce Committee, Part 2

Posted: May 7, 2011 in Album Reviews

It’s been seven long years since the Beastie Boys last graced us with their presence (no, I’m not counting that all-instrumental album they did in 2007), which isn’t all that surprising since the Beasties always take a long time between releases.
They had a good excuse this time, though. They were ready to unleash Hot Sauce Committee, Part 1 in 2009, but just months before it’s release, Adam “MCA” Yauch was diagnosed with salivary cancer. The album was scrapped as MCA underwent treatment, which appears to be successful as MCA is feeling better (but still not quite out of the woods yet). With their bandmate’s health improving, the Beastie Boys reworked the album a bit, keeping many of the tracks intended for the first album and now (with their twisted sense of humor) releasing it as Hot Sauce Committee, Part 2 (with no Part 1 in sight).
The new album finds the boys in fine form, and it’s a nice cut above the somewhat disappointing 2004 release To the Five Boroughs.
Hot Sauce has many old-school throw-back tracks, with the production showing hints of the keyboard chicanery of Hello Nasty sprinkled with some of the hardcore punk leanings of Ill Communication all rolled into one release. For me, the punk tracks shine the brightest, particularly the kick-ass track with a typical goofy title, “Lee Majors Come Again.”
Elsewhere, the band dabbles a bit in reggae (with an expert guest spot by Santogold in the breezy ‘Don’t Play No Game that I Can’t Win’) and enlists Nas for a killer cameo in “Too Many Rappers.”
The track “OK” sounds like it could have been produced by Gary Numan, with its 80s style synths taking hold of the proceedings.
“Tadlock’s Glasses” is a murky mess, but somehow in a good way, with its almost video-game sounds providing the backdrop for some hard-to-decipher lyrics from the guys.
Meanwhile, “Funky Donkey” indeed brings the funk, while “Crazy-Ass Shit” is fueled by kiddie vocal samples.
The mainly instrumental “Multinational Nuclear Disarmament” is a nice laid-back track in the midst of all the chaos, with only the only lyrics “we can make it happen” being provided by what sounds like a robot.
There’s enough here for every Beastie Boys fan, and again a welcome return to form.

Sod rating: ****

  1. mike derossett says:

    Very good review. Can’t wait. Loved the 30 minute “video” featuring Seth Rogan et al.

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