September 4, 2018 Everlast – Whitey Ford’s House of Pain (Album Review)
Who knew all those years ago when he told us to “Jump Around” that House of Pain’s Everlast, aka Erik Schrody, would still be releasing music of such a high caliber as his forthcoming solo album, Whitey Ford’s House of Pain. Set for release on Friday, September 7, 2018 via his own label, Martyr-Inc Records, the raspy voice is there, the funky beats are there, the lyrics fans have come to expect are there, as well as the hillbilly guitar riffs that blend perfectly together.
Truly beaten the odds both in and outside the studio, Whitey Ford’s House of Pain marks Everlast’s seventh overall studio album, and first of all-new material since 2011’s Songs of the Ungrateful Living. A total of twelve songs, it all begins with a song called “One of Us.” Complete with a slow mellow groove and easy guitar progression, it tells the story of how good can go bad, how everything can become one ‘goddamn mess,’ and how it’s just the ‘nature of the game.’ A fitting start, Everlast’s voice meshes perfectly, both pitch-perfect and on-point, everyone listening will feel like this song was written for them specifically.
“The Culling” then takes you straight back into a chilled-out beat with signature-style Everlast lyrics. It tells the tales of impending issues and how we should be taking the time to sort our own problems out, to not believe all we are told by our politicians, and most of all, for ‘fathers to teach their sons.’ Then there are other songs such as “It Ain’t Easy” which again bring that gritty lifestyle type song that fans have come to love and respect from Everlast. Very personal, these are lyrics about a tough life and how he is waiting to find the right woman. As alluded to with “One of Us,” it is as if Everlast knows just how to write songs that each and every one of us can relate to.
Keeping it real, a major highlight on the album comes with the cut “The Climb,” a magnificent piece of music illustrating Everlast’s ability to bring about the feelings in us that he has in himself. Much like “It Ain’t Easy,” it is a song about a tough life, being a slave to the grind, and having nothing to show for it, but worse of all, not understanding why you are in this grind in the first place. Like all of us, Everlast has built up a stone wall around his heart and is just trying to make it through this maze we call life.
Later on comes “Summer Rain,” a lovely song that is sure to fit perfectly snug into Everlast’s setlist for years to come. About how all the worries in life, all the pain, all the sorrows, and the stains they leave can all eventually get washed away. Then, on “Break it Down,” Everlast explains how all he needs is his ride or die partner. No doubt with a certain girl on his mind, the song paints a picture of him driving with his memories in his blue Chevrolet pickup and how all he needs is for his girl to be there to help him break it down. In reality, aren’t we all just looking for someone to help us break it down?
Not to be overlooked, “Smoking and Drinking” and “Slow Your Roll” bring you back to that grimy Everlast Hip Hop flow that everyone loves and look forward to every time this cat drops an album. That in mind, it is his diversity that really makes him special, and closing out the album is a brilliant dream-like hypnotic vibe on “Dream State.” With a great string section and an easy, chilled-out beat, it wraps up a well-composed, storytelling album.
Truthfully, with each album, Everlast gets better and better. The flows are sharper, beats are grimier, but smoother when they need to be. Additionally, the guitars sound punchy and the mix is perfect. Most all the lyrical content on Whitey Ford’s House of Pain touch upon topics everyone can all relate to. Not only has Everlast been able to put together amazing albums, he has done so in the face of some adversity, dealing with a publicized Cystic Fibrosis diagnosis of his oldest daughter. He has showed the world where priorities should be when faced with something of this magnitude. That is why his family loves him, it is why Divine Styler loves him, and it is why his fans love him. There is a respectful toughness about Everlast and it shines through with Whitey Ford’s House of Pain. That is why CrypticRock gives this album 5 out of 5 stars.