Beastie Boys

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Beastie Boys

Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

Capitol Records

4 out of 5 stars

 

I still personally believe that there never was a Hot Sauce Committee Part 1, even as a concept.

The story goes like this: In September of 2009 the Beastie Boys were supposed to release Hot Sauce Committee Part 1 as the first installment of a two part set. The album was delayed after Adam “MCA” Yauch was diagnosed with cancer of the preaortic gland and lymph node.

Then in October of 2010, the band released one of the oddest, but most entertaining press releases of the year, which stated (in part), “In what can only be described as a bizarre coincidence, following an exhaustive re-sequence marathon, Beastie Boys have verified that their new Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 will be comprised of the same 16 tracks originally slated for inclusion on Hot Sauce Committee Part 1. The record (part 2 that is) will be released as planned in spring 2011 on Capitol. The tracks originally recorded for Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 (which now are actually back on Part 1) have now apparently been bumped to make room for the former Hot Sauce Committee Part 1 material. Wait, what?”

Whether or not all of that was just a typical Beastie Boys joke, and/or clever marketing, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 is now out and marks the band’s eighth studio album (or does HSC Part 1 actually make this their ninth?).

Regardless, HSC Part 2 is a move back to tradition for the Beastie Boys — with sounds much more indicative of Check Your Head and the masterpiece Paul’s Boutique, and less like more recent releases like To The 5 Boroughs. The album is chock full of short, punchy songs that all seem to run into one another (in a good way), and like Check Your Head, HSC Part 2 features both samples and live playing. It touches on traditional Beasties themes like eating macaroni and cheese, and fighting for their rights, and does so with fluid, silly and stoned rhyming that is as captivating and as fun as ever.

But if HSC Part 2 does nothing else, it shows that the Beastie Boys have become Beastie Men, who have the freedom these days to play whatever they want, and while HSC isn’t exactly at the stature of Paul’s Boutique, it’s still a damn good album, and one of the best releases they’ve made  since the nineties.                                             — BFJ

Note: Despite reports that Adam Yauch had been found “cancer free,” the singer is still in treatment, and doing well. However, the band has said that they will not tour until he is better.

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