adam horovitz

REVIEW: Beastie Boys – Aglio e Olio (1995)


BEASTIE AGLIOBEASTIE BOYSAglio e Olio (1995 Grand Royal EP)

The sticker on the front said it plainly:  “Only 8 songs. Only 11 minutes. Only cheap $.”  Retailers were known to jack up prices on CDs so the Beasties were proactive about making sure their fans didn’t get ripped off.  It’s kinda like how Metallica called their Garage Days the $5.98 EP.

This EP is one of the Beasties’ punk rock releases.  Apparently, while writing for Hello Nasty (1998), the group spontaneously just started jamming out old school punk style rockers.  There were too many to put on their next rap album, so they decided to release them quick n’ dirty on a special EP.  And that’s Aglio e Olio.

What I find cool about it is that even if you didn’t know who it was, it’s immediately obvious on opener “Brand New” that it’s the Beastie Boys.  It doesn’t sound musically much like their mainstream hits but their idiosyncratic voices make it instantly identifiable.  Then you notice things like the noisy guitar “solos” that take the place of record scratches and samples (similar to “Sabotage”)…it’s a different instrument but the same artists so there is a connectivity.

BEASTIE AGLIO BACK“Deal With It” is the second-longest song at a whopping almost-2 minutes!  It’s a freakin’ crusher of a song.  “I Can’t Think Straight” reminds me of early Suicidal Tendencies. The rest are a mash of screamin’ Beasties, heavy guitar riffs, crushing bass, and sloppyfast punk rock drums.  Throw in a few weird breaks and time changes and you have a varied and enjoyable way to kill 11 minutes of your day.  The bass hooks are relentless and the lyrics all but unintelligible!

Best track: the hooky closer “I Want Some” which I think is hit quality. Fucking great song on which to close a fucking great little EP.

But what exactly does Aglio e Olio mean?  Fortunately, I am Italian.  Aglio e olio is my favourite pasta dish, a simple spaghetti.  It is just the pasta in olive oil and garlic.  It is simple, delicious, and easy to prepare once you learn the trick of it.  Its appeal is the simplicity of just three ingredients: spaghetti, olive oil and garlic.  Three ingredients, right down to the basics.  Just like the Beastie Boys.

4/5 stars

  • MCA – Vocals, bass
  • Mike D – Vocals, drums
  • Ad-Rock – Vocals, guitars

Part 43: Shake Your Foundations (Epilepsy Sucks!)

In 2008, the year we got married, Jen was diagnosed with epilepsy.  Some people with epilepsy never have a seizure, once diagnosed and medicated.  Unfortunately for us, Jen is not one of those people.

It’s been a long hard struggle, but we have made it through so far with humour and a positive attitude.  One part of having a positive attitude came from my research on the illness. While researching epilepsy online, I discovered that numerous rock stars have it, but still function!  Knowing this was a huge boost to our attitudes, because being on stage involves lots of lights, and lights can be a trigger for many people with epilepsy.

I constructed a 4 O’Clock 4-Play for Craig at 107.5 Dave FM, involving this theme.  My goal was simply to raise awareness.  I told Craig, “If just one person hears this and learns something about epilepsy then my work is done, because so many people have no idea what it is.”  Judging by the feedback I got, it did succeed in getting people thinking!

1. Prince.  The royal single-monikered one was born epileptic and suffered a lot of taunting at school.  He’s obviously come a long way since!  I submitted “Let’s Go Crazy” in my 4-play but Craig subbed in a collaboration with Stevie Nicks which was fine by me!

2. Lindsay Buckingham.  He was born with a mild form of the disease, but still manages to tour with Fleetwood Mac.  Good on him!  I chose “Go Your Own Way”.

3. Adam Horovitz.  This Beastie Boy is sensitive to flashing lights, which I am sure they use in their stage show.  It certainly didn’t seem to hold him back from massive success.  For this 4-play I chose “Sabotage”.

4. Neil Young.  He was medicated for epilepsy as a child, but didn’t like the side effects of the meds, which can go all over the spectrum depending on you and your meds.  Neil chose to make lifestyle changes instead, and has lived without medication since!  And, obviously, rocked the world.  Good on you Neil.  I used “Rockin’ in the Free World”.

Epilepsy scares a lot of people when they see a seizure happen.  Don’t be scared, but if you want to learn more, check out some of these links.

http://www.epilepsyontario.org/

http://www.epilepsy.ca/en-CA/Epilepsy-Canada.html

http://twitter.com/#!/EpilepsyOntario