Last outing found the Beasties silently admitting several things. First, they were no longer occupying a decade they helped musically define (that may happen when you take six years off). Secondly, they were sliding into band adulthood (To The 5 Boroughs was more about refinement than reinvention, unlike most of their body of work). With Hot Sauce, the clown princes of hip-hop continue embracing their elder statesmen status. The opening suite of “Make Some Noise” and “Nonstop Disco Powerpack” illustrate this beautifully. The former track is classic BB territory, featuring a mid-tempo funk beat and a swanky synth, as Mike and the two Adams rotate vocal duties not between verses but within them. The latter is just bass, drums, vocals, ten tons of reverb, and no choruses. Both tracks are as old-school as it gets, but everything about them is as immediate as the budget debate. But it wouldn’t be the Beastie Boys if they didn’t make the nonsensical seem sublime, as in the case of “Lee Majors Come Again,” where the trio rap over a baseline forgotten by Black Flag and a two-step metal beat. They may be trotting out the same tricks, but they have yet to be met with worthy successors.
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