Hell Bent for Letters
LP - $9.00 | CD - $12.00 iTunes emusic
Alternative Tentacles tosses our well-worn thinking cap
into the no-holds-barred, no-child-left-behind ring of Edu-
core with Hell Bent for Letters, the latest outing by Seattle's BloodHag. Formed in 1995 to stimulate a communion
between literacy and punk/metal, BloodHag created the genre of Edu-core and operate under the motto "The faster you go deaf, the more time you have to read!"
BloodHag's minute-long songs have the common theme of esteemed authors such as George Orwell and Philip K. Dick, while the music roars along with the blunt force of bands like Brujeria, Pantera, and Sepultura. Their live shows include between-song mini-lectures and the ceremonial pelting of the unsuspecting audience with books!
It's open to debate whether Edu-core can actually pummel literary history into the hungry minds of head-banging
youth, but we certainly can't blame BloodHag for trying
to bridge the gap between death metal tombs and Pulizer-
willing tomes, or beer-soaked venues and pristine librar-
ies. (Yes, they really tour public libraries!)
Authors covered on this record (these are also all of the song titles!) are Gene Wolfe, Robert Silverberg,
Douglas Adams, James Blish, Anne McCaffrey, Orson Scott Card, Lain M. Banks, Edgar Allen Poe, Philip Jose Farmer, Michael Swanwick,Frederik Pohl, Thomas M. Disch, Greg Bear, Franz Kafka, Madeline L'Engle, and Jack Womack!
With their neckties and pocket protectors cocked and loaded, BloodHag is
ready to stave off the dumbing down of America.
"Glorifyingly hooked on demonics, they make some of the
heaviest, snuggie underwear-soiling sounds this side of
Spazz and Brujeria, while mixing in some Reading Rainbow"- Thrasher Magazine
"Learning has never hurt this good!"— Portland Mercury
"I have a question for you. When do a band's ideas, performance, and theatrics become more important than the music? This band sings about authors! During their live performance, they give mini-lectures on authors and books and sometimes even throw books into the crowd. I love it! Oh, what do they sound like? Bare bones, raw death metal and thrash. Well OK, imagine Brujeria with a punk drummer. I like the music, the raw heavy metal, and a good bit of the time the songs fit the author. Their track "Edgar Allen Poe" is a great example, with samples of a thunderstorm, extra scary vocals, and an overall goth feel while remaining heavy. And anyone who writes a song about Iain M Banks and makes me laugh while listening to it is good in my world. In the end, there is nothing unique about the music but the topics. The lyrics and songs are great. They call themselves edu-core and I did discover authors I have never read because of this CD. I'm going to read a book while I headbang to this."- MRR