Friday, May 27, 2011
Comedy rap seems a little repetitive considering that a lot of the best lines to come out of any MC's mouth are the hysterically funny ones. In the case of The Lonely Island, though, since there's nothing serious about them, at all, and it works. Hard.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I didn't detect any of the "have they still got it" or "have they still got anything" or "I fear it's going to suck really baaaaaaaaaad" in the lead-up to Hot Sauce Committee Part Two's release three weeks ago. That's what I heard for weeks leading up to the release of To The Five Boroughs in 2004, and then "it's way better than I thought - like, really good" almost universally. After the release of two tracks on the Super Surprise EP last year, and especially "Make Some Noise," the potential for a good Beastie Boys album turned into an expectation this time around.
More than one review has pointed out places that Hot Sauce Committee Part Two sounds like Check Your Head but it's hard not to hear echoes of Hello Nasty throughout too. For all the effects and live-playing a la 1992, what a lot of it adds up to is the bouncing, playful sound of 1998. The combination works well on an album that finds the Beasties sticking to a single subject: Just how bad-ass they are.
"Nonstop Disco Powerpack" has a refreshingly familiar "Pass The Mic" vibe, and "Make Some Noise" is perfectly in line with "Intergalactic" and "Ch-check It Out" as lead singles from a new Beastie Boys album meant to get the party started. For any reminders of Beasties history, and, as always there are plenty, this is no rehash - and not even in the Check-Your-Head-and-Ill-Communication-sound-the-same kind of way.
Aside from distorting their vocals way too often - I mean, really, it's going to take twice as long to memorize the lyrics now - this could be another instrumental album. Unlike the uber-jazz of The Mix-Up, this is a hip hop album in every way, from samples to scratching to outros that are often better than the beat actually rapped over in the song. Even if the rhymes weren't as referential as they are, and it's often references that are old school, or just old, but in a good way, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two is perfect for those hung up on the instrumentals of Madlib, Diplo or Oh No, among others.The only reason the Beastie Boys aren't still the tastemakers they were throughout the 90s is because it's been six years since their last album and this is a very different world. The Beastie Boys are still the Beastie Boys though, their universe is still vastly more cool than anything we live out here, and the occasional glimpse still makes some of us hope to get halfway there one day.
Buy Hot Sauce Committee Part Two directly from the Beastie Boys.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I have a friend who bought the Sublime classic 40 oz To Freedom on the strength of their cover of Bad Religion's "We're Only Gonna Die." He was disappointed in the record - the expectation was for hardcore, not the ska-reggae-punk hybrid Sublime did so well - and returned it to Sam Goody in exchange for the first Goldfinger album.
While I came around to 40 oz..., to the point that it's a desert island album for me, that Goldfinger album remains a top party record. That's a smiling, dancing, let's get moving kind of album. And there's nothing groundbreaking about Goldfinger. Goldfinger is some ska, some punk, and just poppy enough that the masses understood it enough to buy at least that first effort.
As ska's few moments in the limelight faded, so did the attention lavished on Goldfinger. It's sad, considering that the band has continued to pump out great records, including 2008's Hello Destiny, which is what this track comes off of. In the meantime, they've become more involved in working with other bands (lead singer John Feldmann has worked with The Used, Story of the Year and Good Charlotte, among others), and they've got some social awareness now as well.
"Get Up" is pretty clearly about animal rights, one of the bands chief causes. That being what it is, I think it's a pretty good rallying cry too, especially on a suddenly slow-moving Tuesday afternoon when a shot of espresso and snappy ska-punk track is the only thing that'll do...
Buy Hello Destiny from Amazon.
Monday, May 16, 2011
I've spent a lot of time making the case that Dave Grohl is the bet drummer alive. Now, I know there are all sorts of metal drummers that have sick proficiency, and there are guys like Vinnie Paul, Travis Barker and this guy (and yes, the guy from Rush too), but give me a second here.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
The Black Lips are America's party band. Sure, most of the country doesn't know who they are, but nobody objects to the Black Lips. Nobody. Test it out. Put on a record and see what happens.
My introduction, like many, I'm sure, was via their Vice Records debut, the exquisitely messy Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo, - was a bit of a brilliant move cause the record sounds like a party, which actually makes their studio efforts sound livelier.
This new track, the first single off the forthcoming Arabia Mountain, is notable not only for the rock and roll jangle and a saw as an instrument. It's also doing drugs and, it sounds like, enjoying them. To erase any doubt, they put it in the video.
"Modern Art" is a strong first single. Let me rephrase that - it's not like this is a Rihanna album and radio has to like it enough to play the shit out of it. This song makes me expect something good on June 7.