Yet like most trips back to the future, it's not that easy: Nearing 40 and with political consciences to salve, their unimaginative Bush-bashing on "Time to Build" and "That's It That's All" makes them sound less like yesterday's fiery young men than today's bitter old ones.
But the Beasties' familiar three-way, Noo Yawk whine remains as distinctive as any in music, and it's good to have it back. After more than a decade of looking outward, to Los Angeles, Tibet, and beyond, they've turned their focus back on the Big Apple, and its no-nonsense heartbeat pumps life throughout this album, from the spare, Rick Rubinesque brashness of "Hey Fuck You" and "Shazam!" to "An Open Letter to NYC," a moving tribute to the city that notes, "Two towers down/But you're still in the game." Somehow, so are the Beasties.