Gig Review by Nathan Westley with Photography by Mike Burnell

It seems natural that a band with such a name as Ho99o9 would one day rock up to play within the walls of Brighton venue The Haunt. Not solely due to their shared ghoulish names, but rather due to this venue being the kind of one that punk spirited bands such as Ho99o9 thrive in.

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What Ho99o9 create is a brutalistic natured burst of anarchic hardcore punk mixed with hip-hop that is best suited to venues where the stage is low and where no barrier divides artist from audience. A Ho99o9 show is a communal sharing of energy; with dual front men Eaddy and theOGM the directors leading the audience through a set that wears its punk rock influence proudly.

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When Ho99o9 first came to the UK’s attention, there were many who were intent on writing them off as merely another version of Death Grips, but as time has gone on they have instead proved that they have a unique talent for blurring the lines between genres.

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Songs such as ‘Street Power’ are blurred bursts of punk spirit and hardcore metal guitar riffs that have been given a modern day update with the addition of 21st century electronics and it’s this ability to push forward into new territory that separates them from being just another band.

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But they also have the ability to shift direction. ‘The Dope Dealerz’ with its slow slung bassline and fast paced death rap vocals is both vicious and blistering paced. Whilst the noisy ‘Savage Heads’ that sees a frenetic drum solo before it nose-dives into primal thrash metal. When they arrive at the encore and unleash the crowd pleasing ‘United States of Horror’ it sees the audience once again coerced into becoming a mass sea of moving bodies whilst the occasional stage diver floats of overhead.

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Too often live performances are a re-enactment; the going through of the same set and with premeditated moves, but with Ho99o9 there’s the genuine feeling that what happens is largely off the cuff and that it may fall apart drastically at any moment. Ho99o9 are all the better for it.

Support for Ho99o9 tonight was LA-based hardcore band Kate Mo$$.

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See the complete photoset here.

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