The Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee - Part 2 - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee - Part 2

by Miz DeShannon Rating:9.5 Release Date:2011-05-02

Finding something that stays in your life as your 'favourite thing' has certain characteristics, whatever it is, a jumper, a car, a boy; you love it sometimes, sometimes it doesn't suit circumstance, not everyone else likes what you like about it, but somehow it always fits the purpose and doesn't irritate too much. Well that's how I feel about the Beastie Boys. They're one of my favourite things, and from the considerable and constant praise aimed their way, I don't think I'm alone.

Now on their eighth studio album, Hot Sauce Committee - Part 2, Mike D, MCA and Ad-Rock have been together since the late 70s, the beginning of hip hop, when they were actually a punk group, not rappers, which explains the contant eclectic mix of influences in their music through albums like Check Your Head' and Hello Nasty. It's not the plain rap or hip hop churned out by the likes of Redman or DMX that you hear on a Beastie Boys album, and this latest release rolls them all into once nice and exciting package.

At the lighter end of the hip hop market, they're part of a pack of New York-based acts such as Tribe Called Quest, Jungle Brothers and De La Soul, reknowned for having a more eclectic mix of influences in their music than west coasters. Although, out of this pack, The Beastie Boys seem to have had a bit more commercial staying power than their fellow East Coasters, putting out internationally acclaimed albums over the years alongisde the likes of Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, and Wu-Tang Clan.

Starting the album off with 'Make Some Noise', you're immediately confronted with that recogniseable sound used on classic tracks like 'Intergalactic' (from Hello Nasty, 1998). With straight-up mics, turntables and the odd cowbell, this is a real old-fashioned 'jump up' track. The slower 'Nonstop Disco Powerpack' harks to a more 70s funk bass sound, whilst 'OK' is all treble and synth sounds, apparently influenced by The Cars.

Brooklyn rapper Nas features on 2009 single 'Too Many Rappers', his vocal a good contrast to the usual high-pitched sound expected from The Beastie Boys. This, 'Say It' and 'Long Burn the Fire' have some heavy bass going on, with 80s scratching and turntablism thrown in, which is broken up by the reggae influenced "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win'. It's good to hear Santigold'a vocals on this track, another element that's keeping the Beastie Boys new and relevant on the music scene.

There are some of the usual scatty lyrical fillers, like 'Funky Donkey' possibly for fans of their Licensed to Ill album (1986), and 'The Larry Routine' - too pointless to ever be a single, but absolutely essential to the humorous dynamics of The Beastie Boys, they're like signature pieces.

Lots of fuzz, weird samples and scratching on 'Tadlock's Glasses' leads to the brilliant "Lee Majors Come Again', fast paced, punky and heavily influenced by the likes of The Slits and X-Ray Spex. 'Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament' is a 70s funk sounding track, mainly instrumental. Like I said, sometimes your favourite things fit, sometimes they don't, and this is one of those you've got to be in the mood for, filled with indeciferable robotic vocal samples. There's more of the anticipated whizzing and whirring samples with scat-style rapping on 'Here's a Little Something for Ya' and 'Crazy Ass Shit', with the album finishing on 'The Lisa Lisa/Full Force Routine', another 50 second lyrical filler.

Never as hardcore or politically influenced as acts starting out at the same time such as Public Enemy or west coast's NWA, The Beastie Boys make use of years and years of well-used hip hop sounds, really well produced and covering a multitude of musical genres. This release peaks and troughs in tempo, throws in every technical effect you could find in a studio, and yet still sounds smooth and exactly what you'd expect from an act with years of experience under their belts, like a story-book of musical adventures and hard-work.

I don't think that there's any part of it you can really complain about or any track which won't make you smile at some point. Even the heaviest sounding ones suddenly throw in a crazy sample or vocal in that typical Beastie Boys style, so just put it on repeat and go with it, it's great.

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