Overall Score: 8/10 originality: 9/10 songs: 8/10 consistency: 8/10 Pros: Another bold release from one of music's most original band Cons: Too short
For the unitiated Ho99o9 are one the most unique, interesting and utterly baffling bands on the planet right now. Imagine taking the best elements of Body Count, Slayer & The Dillinger Escape Plan, boiling them all into a pot, sprinkling with whacked out samples and serving at the highest temperature.
If that sounds bonkers on paper, try imagining what the actual result is. Simply put, this band does not fuck around. Not even remotely.
Cyber Warfare, their latest release was surprise dropped without notice. It follows on from last year’s surprise drop Cyber Cop [Unauthorised Mp.3] and serves as somewhat of a sequel.
Opening track Master of Pain begins with a distorted Sample from Tales from the Crypt, which is a masterstroke in itself, setting an unnerving tone right out of the gate, even more so when it gives way to the mother of all thrash riffs that hurtles through the speakers so fast even Keanu Reeves couldn’t slow it down. It’s an uncompromising beginning backed up by some horrifying lyrical imagery that paints a terrifying picture to the listener. If you weren’t unnerved before, you certainly will be afterwards.
Plexiglass has a throbbing 80’s electro beat on it that sounds like the polar opposite from Master of Pain and thankfully allows you a little breathing room. It soon goes away as the track explodes into a grimier heavier beat with the vocals going from a spoken word mantra to a more volatile feverish scream. It’s insane but manages to keeps you on your toes, like being lured in for a hug only to end up getting sucker punched.
Shadowrun comes crashing in like an uninvited Kool Aid Man, with a riff that is so frantic and so groovy it sounds like it was written and played by a bunch of ADHD affected kids given nothing but Energy Drinks and Suicidal Tendencies records. It’s 2 & a half minutes of schizophrenic thrash rap that will melt as many brains as it will faces.
Yellow Tape has a more straight ahead trap style to it, and is the most hip hop flavoured cut on the record. It’s another chameleon like change of pace, that will leave disorientated from trying to figure out what is going, just as you start to settle into it, it morphs, proving Ho99o9 don’t want you to get comfortable and show they can change on a dime.
Simon Phoenix (Shout out to Demolition Man!) has a full 90s approach to it. It starts with a police call being made, then fades into the gritty, dirty beat that has some nostalgia sparking dial up modem sounds woven into it. This is a sinister slow burn of a track that stalks your ears rather than goes straight for the throat. It has a rather abrupt ending but still manages to get under your skin in all the best and most vivid ways.
F.O.G, the E.P’s closing track can only be described as Ho99o9 at their vocally most intense going H.A.M over a Code Orange track. It’s nightmarish, brutal and will beat you down from the inside out.It’s a hell of a way to end this whirlwind of noise, and will leave you paranoid and breathless as it comes to an end.
Ho99o9 have created a collection of songs that come together as a piece of art that is brutally intense, inventive and above all else completely fearless. Cyber Warfare is like taking a shot of andreline directly into your heart only to wake up in the middle of a nightmare.
Ho99o9 are not for everyone and frankly that is what makes them so appealing, they don’t give a fuck what you want or what you think. They are here to smash faces and melt minds. Either get onboard or get the hell out of the way.