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Hell Bent for Letters

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Album Review

PBS might not come a-knockin' anytime soon, but thankfully Alternative Tentacles did, because Bloodhag aren't something you hear every day: an educational hardcore band. While Stryper attempted to rock the Jesus into their audience in the '80s, Bloodhag are committed to enlightening their audiences through lyrics about their benefactors, which read like brief biographies — though you could never tell this is the case unless you have your English/Cookie Monster language dictionary handy. The band works its way through 16 brutal exercises paying homage to such people as Edgar Allan Poe, Franz Kafka, and Douglas Adams. It's a shame the lyrics aren't a bit clearer, because with passages like "He wrote Star Trek novels one through twenty-nine/Then stepped aside to let someone else have a try/But not before writing Spock Must Die," they unquestionably go down in the grindcore hall of fame. Imagine history class taught by GWAR, and it's still not quite enough to capture the essence of what Bloodhag bring to the table.


Formed: 1995 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

With very few exceptions, joke or gimmick bands have always had an extremely short shelf life in the pop marketplace. There was really no need for a second album by the faux reggae Led Zeppelin cover band Dread Zeppelin, for example. But then, most joke bands don't have a genuinely smart, clever idea behind them, and that's why Bloodhag have prevailed for over a decade as the world's foremost combination of literary criticism and thrashy speed metal. Dubbing their particular style of music "edu-core,"...
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Hell Bent for Letters, Bloodhag
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