A Brand You Can Trust, indeed. Listening to this album is something akin to being reunited with some old friends. You know, the gang you rolled with back in high school, when times were simple and parties lasted all night, hell, all weekend, pumping tunes, getting into trouble, you know the drill. This is the glorious reunion, years past your prime teen years, but still looking for a little trouble. You know the phrase: "Putting the band back together?" This is it. And just like those reunions, the group is not quite the same. All the major players are there, but there are a few new faces in the crowd. You just shake your head. It's all good, any friend of my bud's is a friend of mine. Familiar, yet different.
Back in the early 1990s I was in high school and a rock and metal music fan, but there were a few hip hop and rap artists (still not quite sure what the difference is) making an impression. One of those artists was House of Pain. I still love these guys and their three releases. Anyway, when "Jump Around" hit the radio, it immediately became my jam. As soon as those notes sounded, you knew it was on. Unfortunately, the trio of Everlast, DJ Lethal, and Danny Boy split up and went their separate ways. Two thirds of the group found even greater success, Lethal as a member of Limp Bizkit, and Everlast as a solo artist blending his hip hop roots with rock and blues in an intriguing, but softer mix that still remained distinctly Everlast.
I always wondered if Everlast would ever get back to the harder edged rhymes and beats after he went soft. You know, it is not exactly an easy thing to go back and forth between the two wildly different sounds that he found success with. I am sure the idea of returning to straight up hip hop was a tough decision, would he still have his credibility? Well, now the questions can be answered.