House of Pain's self-titled album had its moments, but on the whole, wasn't very memorable. However, the Irish-American group really blossomed on its far-superior and much more hardcore second album, Same as It Ever Was. With this album, Everlast changed his style of rapping considerably and unveiled a much more distinctive and recognizable approach. Sounding twisted, damaged, and maniacal, Everlast grabs the listener's attention and refuses to let go on such wildly entertaining fare as "Back From the Dead," "Over There Shit," and "Runnin' Up on Ya." House of Pain's subject matter -- namely, their superior rapping skills and the threat they pose to sucker MCs -- is far from groundbreaking. But an abundance of strong, clever hooks and Everlast's psycho-like rapping make Same as It Ever Was consistently appealing.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson