With anyone who has followed Ho99o9 since their debut record United States Of Horror or even their earliest projects, the audience is always under attack. They are able to form an assault on the listener that cares less for the safety and more for replacing the danger in music again. The first track “Master of Pain (Error)” is a Castlevania-esque build up where fog rolls out of the shadows to terrorize the onlooker. Paralyzed by fear, the listener has no choice but to stare as a Vincent Price styled narrator describes, “Our story is about a man with nobler ambitions, he likes to kill human pests… and he does it in front of an audience.” As those ghastly laughs lead the curtain pull into a firebomb of whirling percussion and slicing strings, Ho99o9 is the psycho-step child of punk leaping off the deep end.
The two-person team-up of OGM and Eaddy work to challenge, but also lift each other in this brotherhood of scissor-kicking proportions. As the instrumentals seem to burn as raging fires behind them, both vocalists of Ho99o9 match that intensity through each track with no faltering. The instrumentation is vital to highlight here on Cyber Warfare [error] though as the percussion is a standout that crunches through foundational bone to strike the listener continuously.
Shown and highlighted incredibly well on “Shadowrun (Error)” where the drums are the main instrument in this punk rock conquest where no mercy is shown as the mics reach red levels to combat in stress. “Shadowrun (Error)” quickly showed that Ho99o9 was capable of getting in, getting down, and getting out while making a lasting impact through a near two-and-a-half-minute long track. As Cyber Warfare [error] is only seven-tracks, reaching just over 21-minutes, leaving a substantial length that leaves the record flowing well and begging to be replayed.
Through its course, the feature from JPEGMAFIA hits on the track “Simon Phoenix,” but is truthfully a well needed break after the onslaught of aggression between “Shadowrun (Error),” “Yellow Tape (Error),” and “WiFi Punx (Error)” where Ho99o9 acts more animal than human. Somehow tying together the idea that the internet is not the world’s friend, they illustrate as a description of Cyber Warfare [error], “Don’t use every WiFi network you see free, If I stand tall with my plastic rifle in the mirror, I can be anything I wanna… My phone / computer watches me when I sleep / deactivate.”
Before they crush skulls with their bare hands, Ho99o9 takes a final look at the burning, but sprawling city before them. Their style is brash but effective and innovative in a similar vein. Each release brings the audience closer and closer to internet immolation, just as Cyber Warfare [error] should be.