Albums: Beastie Boys Aglio E Olio (Grand Royal GR 026)


Aglio E Olio (Grand Royal GR 026)

The great thing about owning your own label is that you can release any old rubbish you like, which is effectively what the Beasties have done here. The slight compensation is the record's merciful brevity: its eight tracks are crammed into 11 of your earth minutes, though they help corroborate Einstein's views on the elasticity of time by seeming to stretch out for an eternity.

Originally released in America in 1995, Aglio E Olio is basically the Beasties' Valentine to punk, a short parade of miniature guitar thrashes like "Deal With It", on which the only discernible lyric is the title. They start, shout, stop and start again, with minimal change from track to track, apart from the bit at the end of "Deal With It" where it all collapses into 30 seconds of the most hideous guitar soloing in rock history, or the little jazzy drum groove they absent-mindedly slip into at the conclusion of "Believe Me", which only serves to make you yearn for a little of the funk and coherence of Ill Communication. It may only cost a fiver, but you'd be mad to spend it on this rather than the Fat Possum compilation, which has bucketloads of real punk spirit to spare.