by: Kidman J. Williams
Album: United States of Horror
Ho99o9 is one of those mythical creatures that we call bands with talent. Much like the Unicorn or Bigfoot, we aren’t sure if they truly exist or ever did. True originality in a sea of mumble mouthed rappers looking for the next little hit on iTunes; we get the punk fueled hip-hop duo, Ho99o9 scratching through the vigorously polished pop that consumes our media.
Ho9909 was founded by members TheOGM and Eaddy in New Jersey and have been putting out material since 2012. They grew a cult following and then moved the operations out to LA like many groups do.
Their first EP, Mutant Freax Family came out in 2014 with rave reviews from the likes of The Guardian and Rolling Stone naming them among the “10 New Artists You Need to Know” in 2014.
The Hip-Hop Punk duo’s newest effort, United States of Horror paints their horrific look at our society with the heavy notes of the Gangsta Rap thumping of the 90’s, the east coast bashing of the hardcore punk scene, and even a splash of the dynamic personality of the late great Screamin’ Jay Hawkins thrown into their unique and powerful sonic assault.
The album takes on such social/political points as police brutality, racism, capitalism, and of course the media.
The song, City Rejects is a shout at everything that is wrong in this world and says so without any apologies to anyone…just like any good opinion does. Look at Trump and all his opinions!
The very beginning of the album starts with a child reciting their own Pledge of Allegiance, “I pledge my allegiance to the burning flag of the United States of Horror. And to the ….for which it stands one nation under 9’s for liberty and justice for the dead.” Which really starts the predictable tone that this album was going to take.
Not that predictability is a bad thing all the time, so long as it leads to something of worth and this album is worth it. The child’s pledge leads us into the cries of War is Hell.
My personal favorite highlight of this intense body of work is Street Power. Street power assaults your very being with an attack reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails, via Pretty Hate Machine. The song leads you into a heavy punk attack and then drops you down into these slow musical breaks proving that this duo has a full understanding of lyrical and musical theory.
The song sounds like a full come to arms kind of a chant. Even yelling to “look in my eyes,” daring the enemy to come at them with everything they have, but they will still prevail through their evil because they can be that much more evil in the face of annihilation.
This album does not stop there holding the intense movement throughout the whole album. There is no rest for the wicked and we will not be prey for these vultures.
Ho99o9 is one of the most interesting bands that has come out in quite some time. The duo’s blend of hardcore punk, Hip-Hop, and Industrial compliments the vocal war that they are waging against their enemies like Tomahawk missiles and the US the results are explosive and definitive.
BONUS VIDEO: Blood Waves single from 2016.