Stereo’s dark downstairs venue seems like the perfect place to host an evening of experimental thrash-core rap music. After the crowd fills up the room waiting for Kate Mo$$ – many of us including myself standing on the benches by the walls for a better view – I catch a glimpse of a topless girl with black wings crawling onto the stage. What follows is a wild theatrical performance laden with shock value as she dances, twerks, and generally rolls around on stage whilst frontman Gnarly rips it up on the mic to ‘Espy’ and ‘Half Shot’. They have fierce energy and occasionally fall over each other, the tempo constantly shifting with chaotic and distorted sound. It’s hard to pin down the style of the LA group, other than very aggressive freestyle topped over thrash with a lot of confidence in their own performance.
If you think that’s all a bit mental, Ho99o9 is on a whole new level. Ho99o9 are fucking mental. My second time seeing them feels a lot better than the first because they’re headlining their own United States of Horror show, and they deserve it. There is so much to say about them – TheOGM wearing his signature wedding dress and speaking to us about how he hates being the one who talks all the time, and how being an artist is the only way for him to feel free; the crowd already surfing itself but Eaddy joining in like it’s nobody’s business At some point during the night, someone’s phone gets tossed onto the stage, but even the fact that it will probably get collected at the end doesn’t stop Eaddy pulling half of the crowd onstage for a final party after they close with ‘Bone Collector’. If you want a good show, go see Ho99o9 live. They ought to tour with Skindred in the future, I’d say.