HAVING COINED THE TERM "educore," Seattle's BlöödHag have been on a literary mission going on 10 years now. Educore, their brand of literacy advocacy, is achieved by penning two-minute-long (or less) songs about respected sci-fi authors and hurling books at their audiences. (Hell, they've even played libraries.) With such conviction, how can anyone still consider them a shtick band?

Indeed, respectability seems elusive for bands that traffic in humor. Never willing to accept the status quo, BlöödHag have diminished the shtick factor a bit, as evidenced by the recent publication of their first personal forays into sci-fi writing with the small press sensation Mecca|Mettle (Payseur & Schmidt), and their forthcoming album, Hell Bent for Letters, the band's first for Alternative Tentacles, due out May 23rd.

In signing with Alternative Tentacles, BlöödHag throw in with the reigning brain trust of crust punk, gaining them some well-deserved notoriety and respectability.

BlöödHag songs—brief shredders brimming with dizzying fretwork and esophageal gnarl—while educational, are also excellent listening material while slaughtering virtual enemies on your Xbox or simply skating the streets. Like a hulking Stephen Hawking in mechanized armor slashing through hoards of illiterate cretins, their deafening bursts, each named after an acclaimed author, actually encourage the listener to look up the lyrics online to read the message contained in each.

Living up to their motto "the sooner you go deaf, the more time you'll have to read," BlöödHag's long war against the illiterate contingencies of commonplace metal seems to be poised on a turning tide. With the bar being raised across the board intellectually, it appears as though there's plenty of room for intelligent well-read metal in the coming years, and you can bet our friends BlöödHag will be at the forefront, ready to scribe the names of the worthy in blood, or at least to peg you in the head with a copy of Dune.