In his short-order chef’s whites (‘Eat At Whitey’s’ – geddit?), his bulging arms covered in tattoos, Erik Schrody looks like one mean dude. But there’s a brooding in his flinty gaze, too. A convert to Islam in 1997, he was nearly killed by a heart attack a year later, and although you wouldn’t guess it from his recent violent spat with Eminem, these life experiences have made Everlast thoughtful, even vulnerable.
An inventively arranged mixture of blues, hip-hop, strings, folk and metal, ‘Eat At Whitey’s’ is like Fun Lovin’ Criminals’ cameo in [I]The Sopranos[/I]: by turns, flash, atmospheric, melancholic, and very masculine. “My heart is broke, my will is gone”, sings Everlast, throat full of phlegm and rust, on ‘Babylon Feeling’, a meditative Metallica with (blimey!) a bit of drum’n’bass.
At times, ‘Eat At Whitey’s’ is far too polished and adult, as you might expect from a record featuring such rarefied guests as Carlos Santana and N’Dea Davenport. And Everlast, despite his attempts at self-analysis, is too caught up in the lyrical conventions of the blues to reveal the nub of himself. “Need ya like a flower needs the sun/I need you like DMC needs Run”, however, is genius-tinged nonsense.
No Michelin star then, but an easy 7/10.