Showing posts with label House Of Pain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label House Of Pain. Show all posts

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

House Of Pain "Truth Crushed To Earth Shall Rise Again" (1996)


Concluding our brief dive into the House Of Pain trio of records, Truth Crushed To Earth Shall Rise Again marks a significant shift in tone. Swiftly followed by the announcement of the groups split, it is possible the creative issues apparent on this album may have had something to do with it. Its opening track Fed Up is the only song I remember from years ago. I'm unsure if I ever gave this one much of a try back in the day but one things for sure, its lacks any kind of spark to mark it memorable.

No longer working with DJ Muggs, DJ Leathal's production is lackluster in comparison, missing the distinct flavor that defined their earlier output. These beats are middle of the road for a 90s sound. If anything, I find myself picking up some clear Pete Rock & CL Smooth vibes here. To be fair, little is negative but the temperament is so mild and easy going that when dipping its toes into shadowy, rugged or bombastic leanings, it doesn't manifest to anything substantial. It lacks teeth for the bite.

Bringing on a whole host of guests including the legendary Guru and Brand Nubian, the sound feels better catered for them than Everlast's rough, lived-in voice. He has a bit of friction with a lot of these instrumentals. On Earthquake though, the elements align for one decent track. Writing this now, it seems like a common theme, Everlast's hooks don't play of the beats all that well, yet his guests do excel with their verses.

Among the lack of cohesion and shifted tone there is a reasonable bunch of clever, crafty, witty rhymes to enjoy and brief bursts of fun, potent flows with powerful wordings, mostly from the features. The stars just don't align on this time around. Its left me feeling as if they had a great record in them that never came to be. Either way, its been fun to dig back into these albums with a 90s flair I adore.

Favorite Track: Earthquake

Rating: 4/10

Sunday, 27 September 2020

House Of Pain "Same As It Ever Was" (1994)

Following up on the debut Fine Malt Lyrics, my memory of Same As It Ever Was has held true. Its a tighter, leaner, hard hitting record with a boisterous gangster edge. Both the beats and rhymes are upgraded to a meaner form of the Irish funk as House Of Pain channel their fun and quirky charisma into a darker temperament. Front man Everlast trades in his card swapping punch lines for substance driven verses. His rhymes are keen and again well pronouncement, even with a touch more grit in his voice as he emphasizes on gun play and violence. It feels less fun and playful, a fraction threatening but mostly a more entertaining flow of rhymes to jive with.

Behind him DJ Leathal and DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill both shape the beats with big bold baselines played up front and center. Punchy, crisp and smooth with the feeling of a classical double bass instrument, they define a lot of the records tone. Paired with keen yet bare percussive loops, a gloomy shade is painted for a serious hardcore platform that Everlast and his gangster leaning rhymes dominates. Hitting of with a string of the better pairings, pacing suffers through the middle, or potentially the strict styling gets a little tiresome. It picks up at the end with Who's The Man, an interesting take on a sample used timelessly by Dr. Dre on The Chronic. All in all its a strong record but heavily reliant on how much you dig this breed of Hip Hop.

Rating: 6/10

Monday, 21 September 2020

House Of Pain "Fine Malt Lyrics" (1992)


Famed for the timeless Jump Around, a song now spun to death at public events and venues, Fine Malt Lyrics is the debut multi platinum album that houses the smash hit produced by DJ Muggs. This is not a record that gets talked about often and with good reason, its aged poorly. I have soft spot for this trio though, they have close ties to Cypress Hill and little DJ Leathal of Limp Bizkit, two of my youthful favorites.

House Of Pain have a distinct style, excelling in the two key components of Hip Hop music, beats and rhymes! Rapper and front man Everlast has the clear annunciation, groovy flow and punchy rhyme emphasis to give himself a unique charismatic voice on the mic, embellished by his Irish heritage that's woven deep into the tapestry of the band. He is aided greatly by the production and sampling, complimenting his stance.

With a depth of sources not usually akin to Hip Hop, the pairing of beats, samples and prominent baselines brings out this quirky and energetic vibe with a touch of funk and uplift. Its undoubtedly similar to Cypress Hill's stunning debut with DJ Muggs producing half the album however the Latin lingo and cultural inflections is swapped out with this Irish spin. There is also a hint of Bomb Squad influence here too.

Stacking up the best tracks in the opening run, its not long before Everlast is running on steam. With a focus on braggadocio revolving around his lyrical prominence and sexual appetite, the themes end up spin like a roundabout. Given his delivery is bold and simple, like many where at the time, it doesn't hold up over an hour of listening as the same punchlines get traded over and over with a different cut of words.

Despite this, its fun to jump in and enjoy a few tracks. They have always been the sort to have me queuing up a few additional favorites when a track pops up on shuffle. Giving the whole record a go today It made me realize how with the times they were. Hip Hop has evolved immensely since then and the formula of this era is shaky when the lyrical substance is lacking. This record sure has style but not depth.

Rating: 5/10