Almost 30 years deep into their career, the Beastie Boys release their 8th full length LP Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2. Originally scheduled for a 2009 release, the cancer diagnosis of Adam “MCA” Yauch brought a halt to all touring and record promotion. Now with MCA (hopefully) recovered the B-Boys blast back onto the scene with their grittiest record since 1994’s Ill Communication.
The album erupts from the beginning with the swaggering and thumping “Make Some Noise” which will fit right at home among Beastie classics like “So What’cha Want” and “Sure Shot”. With MCA growling “a party on the left, a party on the right-we gonna party for the muthafuckin’ right to fight”, the tempo is set for a raucous and pounding spectacle.
Echoing techniques from 1992’s Check Your Head, many tracks have a mix of sampling old records smothered over live instrumentation (in case you forgot, they are a rock band too-not just emcees!). Also of note is the absence of Mix Master Mike who has been in the studio scratching records for the boys since 1998’s Hello Nasty.
With most of the vocal tracks buried in distortion, the Beasties’ lyrics are just as playful and nutty as ever with references to douche powder, be-kind-rewind, and Wolf Blitzer making any prior fan welcome. Michael Diamond still clamors for the spotlight with his bragging and boasting while Adam “Adrock” Horovitz is just as likely to explode on the mic like Tommy Devito in Goodfellas at any second.
The boys invite some of their A-list friends to come correct such as Nas on the thunderous “Too Many Rappers”. As the Beasties dis every less respectable MC in the universe, they are quick to recognize and flaunt their senior citizen (by hip hop standards) status. Santigold also guests on the reggae joint “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win”.
While Hot Sauce Committee won’t go down as a universal landmark LP like Paul’s Boutique or be a group of generational anthems like Licensed to Ill, it is quite remarkable that they can still crank out a record that will please longtime fans and bring in scores of new fans who have never even heard “Brass Monkey”.