United States Of Horror by Ho99o9Release date: May 5, 2017
Label: Caroline Records
Combining hardcore, punk, various styles of hip hop, metal, industrial and perhaps most importantly of all, primal anger into a supremely abrasive and enjoyable musical assault, New Jersey’s Ho99o9’s debut album United States Of Horror is certainly not an album that ever strays into anything resembling not being interesting and you won’t find yourself getting bored as there is always something going on in the band’s music and it’s always in your face and intense throughout. There are many various styles going on all through the album and they all retain that furious energy (the band themselves describe their music as Deathkult) that make the bands music defiantly stand out.
The styles the band use are a varied and vivid selection, the twisted electronic beats and off the wall raps of ‘War Is Hell’ come to the fore early on in the album and this melding suits the band perfectly, ‘Knuckle Up’ sounds like Memphis rap icons Three 6 Mafia being remixed by Ministry, the breakneck hardcore of ‘Street Power’ and ‘Sub-Zer0’ sound like the Cro Mags and Bad Brains in the studio together and the punk of ‘City Rejects’ sees the band channeling the Dead Boys while the soulful interlude
‘Feels Like’ highlights the bands formidable rhyming skills, ‘New Jersey Devil’ has a big metal influence, ‘Hydrolics’ sounds like the kind of drugged out rap that is coming out of Atlanta nowadays and ‘United States Of Horror’ is the bands take on anthemic and pissed off Southern hip hop ala Pastor Troy and David Banner and a song that take aim mercilessly at a variety of targets from the government to the police, a theme that resonates throughout the album and that’s just for starters, listening to the album is a dizzying experience of different styles.
This potential mixture of so many styles could have turned out messily but the bands energy somehow ties everything together, a trip through everything Ho99o9 stand for it would seem, and by the time the last notes of the dark psychedelic album closer ‘Blaqq Hole’ fade out, it’s been a hell of a ride.
It could be said that Death Grips are an easy reference point in similarity (and it is too easy to be honest) with Ho99o9, they both share an unhinged abrasiveness but whereas that Californian outfit have an abstract edge to their more focused anger, Ho99o9 seem to be totally unhinged with it and their music as a whole, doing and saying exactly what they please with maximum energy to get their message across, (and their formidable live shows are notorious for being like that).
This is an album that is best listened to turned all the way up. Let Ho99o9 into your life and embrace the intensity and the twisted nature the band emit, a sample towards the end of the song ‘Street Power’ sums things up perfectly “These are freaks that you’re watching here” and Ho99o9 and their music wouldn’t have it any other way, this is outsider music made precisely for the times we live in now.