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HO99O9 at Sebright Arms, London - live review

Punk/hip hop agitators set London alight

cOVER ART FOR HO99O9 live at Sebright Arms, London

In a narrow, low-ceilinged basement beneath an East London pub, punters are crammed into every available space. Over the last three years, hardcore punk-rap duo Ho99o9 have earned a reputation for intense, riot-inciting live shows with a confrontational sound that melds menacing hip hop with distorted punk. As such, there’s a sense of anticipation in the air and by the time vocalists Eaddy and the ski-masked The OGM appear, the room is a pressure cooker clamouring for release. Their debut album, United States Of Horror, is like a steel-toed kick to the gut and a bitter and relentless rage against Donald Trump’s America. From the moment they explode into an incendiary Street Power, there’s carnage, the floor disintegrating into a pit of slick bodies while crowdsurfers, including Eaddy, claw their way across the dripping ceiling. Knuckle Up filters nihilism through warped beats and corrosive hardcore and City Rejects simultaneously channels Death Grips and Bad Brains. There are no guitars in Ho99o9’s live show, just a backing track and a drummer, but the likes of Face Tatt and Hate Crimes couldn’t be more thrilling… or more punk. Just over half an hour later, following unsettling closer Blood Waves, it’s all over. “We out, motherfuckers,” drones The OGM, and we’re turfed out onto the street, dazed, soaked in sweat and high on Ho99o9’s brand of freakish euphoria.