Today’s alternative music landscape is largely populated by bands searching for the biggest hooks and catchiest choruses, ultimately gunning for mainstream ubiquity. Ho99o9 don’t give a tuppenny fuck about any of that; this New Jersey duo shun anything that conforms to the zeitgeist, and instead deal in some of the most belligerent, antisocial music going.
The term ‘music’ is used very loosely indeed, mind. Horrors Of 1999 is five-and-a-bit tracks of punked-up aggression fused with the densest of hip-hop beats and a whole gamut of other inhuman sounds. It’s frequently brutal, occasionally unlistenable but always a work of mad genius. Savage Heads presents the best melding of the two genres, coming across as Sick Of It All covering Run The Jewels in its maintenance of both acts’ breathless acerbity, with is rough, raw punk barks-cum-rap vocals.
The rest of the EP tends to lean either one way or the other; No Regrets is a heart-stopping whirlwind of punk vitality, while Prisoners Of War and Gates Of Torment employ lurching, menacing beats to build some horrific, nightmarish soundscape. Whatever genre they gravitate towards, the end product is always the same – torrents of warped slurry from the deepest recesses of these two men’s minds.
This isn’t “nice” music, the kind you’d lie in the bath with your scented candles and listen to. No sane human would choose to listen to this, and many won’t, but it works. Ho99o9 have succeeded in making music that’s unlike absolutely anything else currently doing the rounds. Whether that’s a good thing or not is completely subjective, but with this EP, they’ve offered a very brief (the whole thing just about runs over ten minutes) albeit intense taste of exactly what they’re capable of. Carrying on in this vein is a frightening thought, but an exciting one all the same.