Monday, December 21, 2009

Review #9: Beastie Boys - Pollywog Stew (EP) (1982)

Year: 1982
Genre: Punk Rock
Sub-Genres: Hardcore
Label: Rat Cage Records
Tracks: 8
Length: 9 Minutes (Short)
Style: Rebellious/Fun
My Rating: 6/8

The Beastie Boys are a famous hip-hop group. And they are very good at that. They are also good at doing punk rock, as witnessed by their new single, "Lee Majors Come Again", that was released this year. Well, long ago, back in the early '80s, punk rock was their main eggs n' gravy. Does that make any sense to you? Probably not. But my point is that the Beastie Boys used to make some very top-notch, bratty punk rock. They were only about as old as I am when they created this album, and it's very good. Fast, loud, and full of REAL teenage attitude.

Anyways, they released this Rat Cage Records in 1982, and it's only 9 minutes long, but it has eight tracks, and each one has somethin' to offer. So, here we go:

1. Beastie Boys
I heard somewhere that the "BEASTIE" in Beastie Boys stands for "Boys Entering Anarchic States Towards Internal Excellence". I like it. If that's the case, this song has a good point, in encouraging us to be more BEASTIE. I think we should all be more BEASTIE! Even girls should be BEASTIE. And that wouldn't be too off, since while they were even called the Beastie Boys at this point, they had a girl has a drummer, Kate Schellenbach, who later joined the Lunachicks briefly and then formed a band called "Luscious Jackson." Anyways, about the song. It's fast, and it's hardcore.

2. Transit Cop
This one's probably about a cop that gave them crap or many cops that gave them crap. Cops didn't like punks back then, and they're even bigger douchebags now, most of 'em. You even hear the Beasties yellin' "YO YO YO!" in this song. Perhaps an illusion to their future as rappers? Who knows. Who knows...

3. Jimi
The first Beastie Boys track to ever experiment with studio effects like echos and sampling. It's slower than all of the other songs, and it seems to be about getting stoned. There is a part in the middle of the song where it briefly gets faster and there's some singing. That part rules.

4. Holy Snappers!
Holy Snappers! This song is cool! And it has a cool riff. It does sound a lot like the first track, except they're just saying "holy snappers" a bunch. They actually made a music video for this one.

5. Riot Fight
This song, along with "Beastie Boys" was featured on the compilation "New York Thrash", which had a bunch of early New York hardcore bands. It's the shortest song on the album. I'm just guessing now, but I'm almost positive it's about having a "riot fight." Probably where you fight in the middle of a riot. Or vice-versa.

6. Ode To...
Sounds a little like early Black Flag. This track isn't extremely interesting, but I noticed that they said "RIOT FIGHT" in this track as well. They just had to get those last few "riot fights" outta their system, I guess. Maybe I should, as well. Nah, I'd probably just get beaten up.

7. Michelle's Farm
Starts out with some hillbillyish sounding music and chatter in the background, but then the song suddenly starts in its fast-n-loud fury. I can sorta relate to this one. I was never a farm-kid myself, but I have for most of my life lived in that atmosphere, and when all there is is farms, cows, old people, rednecks, mainstream radio, and cornfields everywhere you look, you adapt to their ways pretty early on, and it gets pretty fucking boring, and the song seems to speak of teenage life getting really routine and boring. Maybe the Beastie Boys felt the same way, but I have to wonder if they actually ever lived like this, since they were from New York City.

8. Egg Raid on Mojo
This is the last song, and I guess they still play it live a lot. It's about the time that the Beastie Boys were not allowed into a show because they were under 18, so they came back dressed in black and pelted the douche with eggs!

After this EP, they released another EP called "Cooky Puss", which is often considered to be their first hip-hop record, but they also parody reggae and stuff. After 1983, they didn't do much stuff of this style for awhile until the '90s, when they would always throw in the occasional punk track in their albums, and in 1995, they recorded ANOTHER punk EP called "Aglio e Olio", which is also pretty good. This is a fun album, though.


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