Rediscovering their groove
Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

The Beastie Boys ain’t Radiohead. No shit and all that. So why even bring them up? Well, it’s all about the caveat. With both bands occupying the rarified status of generational lynch-pins, their albums represent a mirror on how their fans regard themselves and provide artistic validation that music still atters.

The divergence occurs in the manner they elect to tackle said mantle. Whilst Radiohead revel in fidgeting on the cusp of muso introspection, the Beastie Boys have rejected Hyperdub hand-jobs in favour of delivering a camera-obscura distillation of their thirty-two-year career. Brash, mischievous and overflowing with the Beasties’ SHOUTY word play, ‘Hot Sauce Committee Part Two’ could legitimately have opted for a more muted palate given Adam Yauch’s recent battle with throat cancer. But rather than regard this as a negative muse, MCA (Yauch), Ad Rock (Adam Horowitz) and Mike D (Michael Diamond) have seemingly rediscovered their groove with an LP which harks back to the peerless ‘Check Your Head’ and populist ‘Ill Communication’ - albeit caffeinated with a dose of 21st Century pep.

Flitting between self-referential bangers like ‘Make Some Noise’ and the kiddie-rhyming of ‘Crazy Ass Shit’, through to the ‘Time For Livin’-esque ‘Lee Majors Comes Again’, the Beasties effortlessly weave together a cohesive and bewildering patchwork of sounds and astute rhymes. Still laugh-out loud funny (see the opening gambit to ‘The Bill Harper Collection’ for proof) and with only one below par track on the whole album (the Nas guesting ‘Too Many Rappers’), ‘Hot Sauce Committee Part Two’ is probably the third best Beastie Boys album ever made. And that is not a pejorative. Boggle!


Words by ADAM PARK


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