I got this record at the same time as ''Ill Communication'' which is my favourite Hip Hop record of all time. However, since I enjoy punk rock and Hip Hop, I listened to this album with an open mind.
The record surprised me, the Beastie Boys were a competent Hardcore band, and thier first experiments with Hip Hop were very interesting, the liner notes of the record are also very interesting, showing how the band came to be, and how they came to be Hip Hop.
The record begins with ''Jimmy Sober''; who was a radio DJ who championed hardcore music in New York in the early 1980s (he may still, but Im not from New York).
He shouts about a hardcore show he had just been to with reagan youth, bad brains and the beastie boys, and then announces the next song is the beastie boys. The song ''Egg Raid On Mojo'' comes in fast, with a simple guitar riff and symbols, and then the bass and drums come in, it then explodes into a fast pounding hardcore song, with Mike D growling in a way similar to HR from the Bad Brains over the top. The song is rather repetitive, but in a good way, with a short beatdown and a solo. The song is about attacking someones house by throwing eggs at it, as the title suggested.
The second song, Beastie Boys is just as fast, but has no intro or outro. It explains the Beastie Boys name and nature ''Boys Entering Anarchistic States Towards Internal Excellence'' the simple nature of this song does not get boring as it is only 56 seconds long.
Transit Cop is of a slower pace, and has a more jaunted sound, which slows down with some notes being held, and the music occasionally stopping for a ''YO YO YO'', not in a Hip Hop fashion mind. The song seamlessly goes into Jimi, into instrumentation, with a slow grooving guitar flowing over a great bass line, with indecipheral talking over the top. Then the song picks up to hardcore again, with Mike D threatening over the top. The song then goes into instrumentation again, with some echoed guitar and heavy bass showing thier Dub influences.
Then the scratchy guitar intro of Holy Snappers kicks in, with the great bassline coming in straight after. This is another very fast song, this is the best performed and recorded track on the album, which is probably why it was chosen for the Beastie Boys videos DVD.
The begining of Riot Fight begins with the band all shouting RRRRRIOT FIGHT, and then going back into fast hardcore about enjoying a riot, then going back to RRRRRIOT FIGHT and back to the hardcore sounds, a very short song.
Ode To... to me this sounds like an early Black Flag song as far as the instrumentation goes, this is another song about rioting, Mike D's vocals are not very good for this track which lets it down a bit. The simple pounding tune makes this one difficult to keep still while listening to.
Michelle's Farm shows the Beastie Boys good humour it starts off with the band doing impressions of hillbilly types, with them playing different instruments including a acoustic guitar and a washboard. Then it kicks into some equally amusing hardcore with brilliant lyrics such as ''*** the chickens I dont like milk!'' the song is also against school, compaining that all you learn in school is hogwash.
This is another version of Egg Raid On Mojo, this one without the radio introduction, this one has louder backing vocals, and a slightly cleaner mix, but after already hearing this song, you will skip this one.
Then there is another version of Transit Cop from the Radio, with another Jimmy Sober segment, however, this version does not go straight into Jimi, and is another one to be skipped as this isnt a song to hear twice on one record.
The record makes a sudden left turn in sound after this song, with Cooky Puss, which was the Beastie Boys first Hip Hop track, it sounds like a punky jaunted Grandmaster Flash, whish samples Mike D calling a prostitute called Cooky Puss, but cant get through. The song has a weird bassline, and sampled the ''YO YO YO'' from Transit Cop.
The next track is a version of Cooky Puss, with mixing experimentation coming through, with Keyboards on top, and echo effects being used alot, a definite influence of Lee Perry's Dub reggae work, which has been a feature of most of the Beastie Boys work. The samples used in the origional version are stretched and distorted almost beyond recognition, this is a very interesting listen to some early Hip Hop experimentation.
The next track is a slow and bouncy punky reggae song. With the help of a Toaster, which is Adam Yauch's first appearence in the Beastie Boys. The song has alot of experimental instrumentation, such as a Kazoo, and the vocalists doing thier best Jamaican impersinations, Mike D sticking to his hardcore growl, but still with a Jamaican accent. There is some great mixing towards the end of this song, with very heavy bass and echoes. This is a great example of the experimentation the Beastie Boys would achieve in the future. Its also a great surprise to hear this band try and make a great reggae track, which it is, if a little silly.
To finish off is another version of Cooky Puss, this time it starts with the phone call, rather than instrumentation. It also has some of the phone call altered because it is censored. It also has a great sample of ''These cookie crumbs are making me itch, maybe I should scratch'', other than that, this song is mostly the same as the origional Cooky Puss.