By Cole Parker
Punk and hip-hop have a lot of similarities in the ethos of their respective subcultures. Anti-authority, and a DIY attitude are central values to each, and they’re both channeled by New Jersey duo Ho99o9 (pronounced “Horror”) in their mish-mash of the two genres.
On United States of Horror, their debut album, members Eaddy and theOGM package their influences together with pure adrenaline. Their live show is infamous, and the crackle and buzz of their lo-fi recording process make it evident they’re trying to bring some of that energy into the studio. United States of Horror sounds better played out of blown out speakers in your basement than it does out of audiophile headphones and that’s not a bad thing.
For Ho99o9, the scale between their hardcore and hip-hop influences isn’t always entirely balanced. Siren backed banger “Splash” tips very hard to the hip-hop side, while “City Rejects” smashes it back like something off a Black Flag record. Both are highlights, but this rapid flip-flop and the occasional jeering high-fidelity intro or interlude can take a listener out of Ho99o9’s carefully cultivated carnival of chaos. The over-the-top lyrical content can also make a listener pause their head-banging for a chuckle.
Despite its flaws, United States of Horrormostly feels as raw as a fresh wound in a garage show moshpit, and 2017 needs more of that.Black Flag record, Caroline Records, Ho99o9, New Jersey, Record Review, United States of Ho99o9, United States of Horror