BS 2000 : Simply Mortified

BS 2000 : Simply Mortified

Score

This is a vanity project that should have been destroyed in its infancy by right-thinking US postal workers.

BS 2000 is the latest zero-budget, determinedly lo-fi thrillerama from the insanely wacky Beastie Boys camp a group of middle-aged millionaire blokes who’ve chosen to stave off impending responsibility by behaving like spoilt teenagers. Adam Horowitz (aka Ad Rock) is one of the brains behind BS 2000; the other goes by the name of Amery Smith, whose nickname is AWOL, so you can imagine how crazy he is. He plays drums for the Beasties.

As they enjoy a bi-coastal relationship, from time to time the pair send each other their retarded musical sketches (perky keyboard doodles, basic drum machine patterns, juvenile lyrics) which are then processed through a sampler and pasted into what BS 2000 optimistically term ‘songs’. Fortunately, Ad Rock owns a record label, Grand Royal, which has a rich tradition of appalling releases (OK, so At The Drive-In was a fluke) and its latest, ‘Simply Mortified’, proves to be no exception.

Make no mistake, amidst their cheap sonic tomfoolery BS 2000 at least display a penchant for scathing political and social satire. ‘Sick For A Reason’ threatens to [I]”take down”[/I] New York’s ageing Mayor Rudy Giuliani apparently for making the city safe; ‘Boogie Bored’, vaguely reminiscent of the Beasties’ less-focused hardcore thrash-outs, is ouch one in the eye for the anti-PC brigade; while ‘The Dilemma’ slams unspecified racist homophobic sexists trading as ‘entertainers’ through the authentically punk medium of indecipherable ranting. Yet consider that Ad Rock is in fact a 34-year-old (Hollywood) divorcĂ© who is in a band who frequently speak out against the massive injustices occurring in Tibet and have hung with the Dalai Lama, and you get the impression that, much like the accompanying music, his BS 2000 diatribes are but hurriedly conceived point-evading designer angst-bites.

Perhaps we’re taking this too seriously; after all, ‘Simply Mortified’ doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a lightweight attempt at ingratiating its protagonists into the elitist echelons of the US indie scene via a series of childish two-minute Casio ditties. Doubtless inspired by the kind of cute political pop fashioned by his beau Kathleen Hanna’s excellent band Le Tigre, Horowitz is keen to equate the hand-jive-friendly kitschadelica of ‘NY Is Good’, ‘Yeah I Like BS’ and ‘The Side To Side’ with certain dance routines; although, unlike Le Tigre, everything about BS 2000 is unsexy, clumsy and, as their name implies, slightly dated.

The sound of half an idea poorly executed, this is a vanity project that should have been destroyed in its infancy by right-thinking US postal workers.

Piers Martin