Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Review #109: Beastie Boys - Cooky Puss (EP) (1983)


Year: 1983
Genre: Hip-Hop, Punk Rock, Reggae
Label: Rat Cage Records

13 Minutes (Short)
My Rating:

Ah, the Beastie Boys... what a strange group they have been. Starting out in 1979 in New York as a hardcore punk band, they were originally known as the "Young Aborigines", and their first release was an eight-song 7" EP called "Pollywog Stew" -- one of the best New York hardcore records ever! This iz their second release, and it's quite different from Pollywog Stew. Here, we have the Beastie Boys experimenting with other genres, such as hip-hop (which would eventually become the main genre they are known for) and there's even a reggae song! Definitely a very compelling release from the Boys Entering Anarchic States Towards Internal Excellence Boys. In this record, what starts out as a mere innocent prank call at Carvell's Ice Cream turns into a sample-laden, record-scratchin' nightmare as the gang is antagonized by the elusive Cooky Puss, a deliciously hideous half-ice cream, half-cookie (cooky?) monster from, well, somewhere else. Maybe the D.C. punk scene.

1. Cooky Puss
Many consider this song to be the Beastie Boys' first hip-hop song ever. And I guess you could say so, but despite that, there isn't a whole ton of rapping. More just excessive usage of samples and bippets and snits of spoken lines by the Beasties over a punk rock beat. The story behind this one is a prank call to Carvell's Ice Cream revolving around Cooky Puss (their famous cookie-cake-creature) and stuff. There's also a ton of clips of some comedian guy, which the Beastie Boys pretty much scratch and fuck around with into oblivion. Hell, they even use samples from their own record, Pollywog Stew! Gotta love the part at the end where they're all going "whoo-hoo, whoo-hoo-hoo, BEASTIE BOYS". So catchy! This iz a very fun song.

2. Bonus Batter
Basically an instrumental remix of "Cooky Puss", but it mixes things up even more, and uses some new samples, like a crowd cheering and stuff like that. End of Side 1.

3. Beastie Revolution
Now, this one's just hilarious. It's a reggae song. And in the manner of the Rastafarians, the Beastie Boys are completely stoned off their asses in this one. The bassline is very good, here, and so is the guitar. For some reason I find it hilarious when Adam (M.C.A.) says "a man called Giri", to which Kate replies "a man called Cooky Puss" -- Kate had been thoroughly aware that Cooky Puss was still yet to be pursued. I have no idea what that even means, by the way. The stoned Beastie Boys slowly begin to lose their ability to contain their laughter, and then the song sort of decays into a parade of bizarre samples from the very song that they are playing, led along by a repetitive bassline. And that's the end.

4. Cooky Puss (Censored Version)
It's "Cooky Puss" without all of the naughty words. YAEY!!!

Eventually, the Beastie Boys' foray into hip-hop would lead to Kate Schellenbach leaving the band. I actually heard that Kim Deal from the Pixies and the Breeders was in the Beastie Boys for a short while. After this EP, they successfully sued British Airways for using part of "Beastie Revolution" in their commercial without their permission, and used the money to get their own place to live at. By the mid '80s, the Beastie Boys were a full-fledged hip-hop group, with the band members changing their names even to their more familiar rapper names: Mike D, M.C.A., and Ad Rock. Actually, I'm not even sure if Ad Rock was in the band at this point or if it was still John Berry, but it probably was Ad Rock (who was Adam Horovitz at this point). But yes, this is a dandy little record, and you should listen to it. So long, nauw!!!!

(P.S. -- I know I already reviewed this album back in December... FUCK THAT! I RE-REVIEWED IT, MAN!)

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