Ho99o9’s ‘SKIN’ is a Glorious Noise
By Nathan Leigh
March 18, 2022
As anyone who’s seen them can attest, the duo of theOGM and Eaddy reign supreme as one of the best live acts out there. Their shows are a precision-tuned vector of chaos and noise; a cathartic blur that melds joy and rage into an unstable chemical reaction. On each successive record, they’ve come closer to capturing the magic of their live set on wax, and it seems like with SKIN, they’ve finally done it.
The record flows with the logic of a live performance. Songs weave together, starting with the 1-2-3 punch of singles “NUGE SNIGHT” (bonus points for the excellent name), “BATTERY NOT INCLUDED” and the Slipknot frontman-assisted “BITE MY FACE.” As if anticipating the need to catch a breath, they jump into the moodier and more complex middle section. The band has always existed at the intersection of hardcore-as-in-punk hardcore-as-in-hiphop and hardcore-as-in-EDM, and nowhere is that clearer than SKIN‘s middle third where the juxtaposition of distortion and lyricism is at its peak. Travis Barker’s production doesn’t reinvent the wheel for the band. The same elements that have always been at play in their music are there, but his increasingly trademarked love of sharp stylistic detours allows theOGM and Eaddy to indulge in the most extreme version of their love for extremes.
The knives come out in the industrial warping of “PROTECT MY BITCH PT. 2” and the sun-melted “…SPEAK OF THE DEVIL.” Adding rare melodicisim to the mix, the vocals allow them to showcase a wider range than ever before. By the time the legendary Saul Williams steps in for the album highlight “SKINHEAD,” the album has already established itself as a career best. That final 3rd contains what are indisputably their best work to date, capping with the triumphant coda of “DEAD OR ASLEEP?” Ho99o9 has always sought out extremes, but here they prove there’s a surprising amount of depth and nuance in the space between 9.99 and 10.
Ho99o9 will be on tour this spring. Follow them @ho99o9 for more.
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