House of Pain
Same As It Ever Was


2.5
average

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
January 15th, 2009 | 28 replies | 9,294 views


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: House Of Pain errs too much in attempting to restore their reputation as hardcore rap artists here, resulting in simply too much filler and not enough genuine highlights.

“Jump Around… Jump up, jump up & get down”. In 1992, House Of Pain’s first ever single as a group became a world wide smash hit with massive crossover appeal. On the trio’s follow-up, ‘Same As It Ever Was’, it appears as if the group have intentionally gone out of their way to restore their reputation as hardcore rap artists. Of course, the resultant effect is that there is very little that can be considered “mainstream” about this release at all.

House Of Pain waste no time laying down this foundation as on opener ‘Back From The Dead’, lead vocalist Everlast sounds as if he has been on an endless diet of razor-blades! His voice is so deep and raspy that it is almost maniacally scary. Furthermore, part-time collaborator DJ Muggs infuses the cut with a bass loop that adds an even darker vibe.

It is not just Muggs that has made the discovery though as DJ Lethal also appears to have discovered that a bass loop can assist in the genre. In the instance of ‘I’m A Swing It’ though, it provides a genuine hook. Meanwhile, Danny Boy’s vocal contribution allows this cut to be one of the more accessible on the album. If a call had to be made on that front however, the honor would have to go to lead single ‘On Point’. This song’s more conventional chorus allows it to be both immediate and memorable, while Danny Boy once more plays a key role as he counter-balances Everlast’s distinct rapping style. It still confounds how Danny Boy only appears on 4 songs here!

Unfortunately, there are serious concerns regarding depth on ‘Same As It Ever Was’, as evidenced by the choice of the 2nd and 3rd singles. Both ‘Who’s The Man’ and ‘Word Is Bond’ display mixed results and are only passable at best. The attempt to infuse a lighter vibe on the latter only partially works, while the inclusion of a cameo by Diamond D also does not add a great deal. Otherwise, the album strays into the same trap as two years earlier with it being overlong (49 minutes) and containing way too much filler.

Another concern is that the songwriting has taken a dip since the trio’s debut. Musically speaking, it is probably on par with the self-titled release as the beats are just as strong and the aforementioned addition of greater bass at least adds an atmosphere to the album. However, for the most part, the lyrics significantly regress, with very little standing out as either clever or memorable. When that was arguably one of the strong points on this album’s predecessor, it means that there is a rather big hole to fill.

Where House Of Pain attempt to make up for that is with a greater emphasis on storytelling. This is especially the case on the latter half of the album with ‘It Ain’t A Crime’, ‘Where I’m From’ and ‘Who’s The Man’ all relying on that trait as their main selling point. Unfortunately, only ‘Where I’m From’ stands out in this sense, as it successfully conveys the message of not forgetting your past, amongst a suitably lighter vibe and catchy recitable chorus. The cut also comes together well musically with both bass and horns effectively working together to provide further depth.

Everlast’s distinctive voice always meant that House Of Pain would provide the hip-hop genre with something just a little different from the norm. Unfortunately, on ‘Same As It Ever Was’, there simply is not enough behind the individual songs to carry the album through to be anything more than passable. Furthermore, House Of Pain errs too much in adjusting their balance to appeal to a more hardcore audience here, resulting in simply too much filler and not enough genuine highlights.

Recommended Tracks: On Point, Where I’m From & I’m A Swing It.



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user ratings (43)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Now I sit and wait for the hardcore rap fans to do some hating.
$hit, I just realized I am the person to give this album it's lowest rating on Sputnik!

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2009


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

im a swing it watch me bring it to tha next leve

kygermo
January 15th 2009


994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

...and here it is.

Bro, this album mops the floor with the debut. A 2.5 is severely unfair.

Of course this is your opinion and I respect it, but I dont skip a single track when I put this on (which is usually once a year for St. Patrick's Day).

But of course your review is spotless.



DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well, at least Chan has joined me on the 2.5 block. And good lyrical quote too Chan, as it's probably the line which sticks out the most when thinking back on the entire album.
I knew you would be quick with your mini-rebuttal Kygermo. I was gonna hint that I didn't like this all that much in the comments to my review of the self-titled, but I thought I would (unpleasantly) surprise you. Of course, you are more than welcome to provide a counter-review...

kygermo
January 15th 2009


994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh and since we're spittin lines from this album, Id like to share my favorite from this

"I rose from the grave, I had a close shave, the cops tried to lock me down cus the glock they found was stolen, thats how Im rollin"

Yeah, your right about the songwriting slipping, but since when was HOP brilliant songwriters?

oh and one more thing, DaveyBoy, when its time to rock a funky joint, your on point.

Willie
Moderator
January 15th 2009


15965 Comments


They made a second album?

Digging: Necropoli - I

st4ytrue
January 15th 2009


279 Comments


No this is fake.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You should have gone further with those lyrics Kygermo... There needs to be a "Calvin Klein's no friend of mine" reference!
And don't rubbish House Of Pain as songwriters. It couldn't have been easy coming up with "Jump Around… Jump up, jump up & get down”.
Believe it or not Trey, they went on to make a 3rd album as well.

kygermo
January 15th 2009


994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Three albums, actually.

They werent bad, either.

kygermo
January 15th 2009


994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"so I dont like Marky, hold the monarchy"

Sorry Davey. Fixed lol.

Willie
Moderator
January 15th 2009


15965 Comments


After the first one they just kind of fell off the radar (at least for me). Maybe I'll give in to nostalgia and look this one and the next one up.This Message Edited On 01.15.09

kygermo
January 15th 2009


994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^ Oh definitely. I grew up with these albums so nostalgia plays a huge role in this. Certainly not masterpieces of music, but fun nonetheless.

Davey just a heads up, whats your review of Truth Crushed going to be like?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Haha, how can a Marky Mark reference not get additional brownie points!?!?!? Good vibrations indeed!
Kygermo, my leanings on music in general are towards the mainstream, so that should give you a strong hint of what I think of 'Truth Crushed...'
Trey, the thing with House Of Pain was that Everlast had such a strong & distinctive voice that he was never going to consistently reel in the mass population. If it wasn't for the 1 song ('Jump Around'), they basically would have been an underground rap trio from go to woe. As I always state, just 1 song can make all the difference.

kygermo
January 15th 2009


994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hmm, you could argue that Truth Crushed was a bit more mainstream than Same. Fed Up, Heart Full of sorrow (with the awesome Bitches Brew sample for the beat) were pretty good.

So if your going to complete the HOP catalog, all I ask in return is for you to let me do the Prince catalog. thats been a maddening work in progress for a couple months now lol.

Douchebag
January 15th 2009


3624 Comments


I firmly have come to the conclusion that your 100th review MUST be Hysteria - Def Leppard.This Message Edited On 01.15.09

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'd say 'Truth Crushed...' is a lot more mainstream sounding than this album kygermo, if only for the greater contribution from Danny Boy.
And by all means you can complete your Prince discography. What was the reason you stopped that for anyway...???
ALLIGATOR, you may come to all the conclusions you like my friend, but you will just have to wait to find out. I've contacted independent bookmakers and they do indeed have 'Hysteria' as favourite for the milestone review, but favourites often get beaten. There has been a reasonable appeal from another album to score the prestigious spot.

Douchebag
January 15th 2009


3624 Comments


would that appeal be an appeal to reason? *cough cough

(that pun was rather terrible, and if i'm far of the mark please just ignore it. haha)

I wrote my first review today too. Along Came a Spider - Alice Cooper. check it out and let us know what you think.This Message Edited On 01.15.09

withintention
January 15th 2009


297 Comments


I used to listen to their first album a lot when I was a tad bit younger. I'll have to check this out for the nostalgia factor.

withintention
January 15th 2009


297 Comments


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdVMwvDrUQU&feature=related

Whitey Ford sucks.

Fugue
January 15th 2009


7353 Comments


Nice one Davey, I'm still amazed i didn't know the name of this band until you reviewed them.

I've contacted independent bookmakers and they do indeed have 'Hysteria' as favourite

naww you won't do Hysteria, too obvious...



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