Blüdwülf is a metal band full of punks... or a punk band full of metal heads. Frontman Reverend Sinn doesn't really sing. He bellows. He rants. He spews. He's a punk. But the precision freight-train thrash of the longhairs behind him shrugs off stock punk shackles.
"As long as there's a teenage boy and a teenage girl out there that want to wear black and feel that they don't fit in," Sinn says, "I wanna be playing music for them."
Metal, punk, munkal, punkal, whatever: It's all the same to Sinn.
"Loud, fast, and in your face," he says. "That should be the root of it all anyway."
Guitarists Josh and Dave shred heavy and loud, and mohawked bassist America keeps it cool while she slings a bass as big as she is. Donnie, the two-story-tall drummer, thunders and looms beneath a wild mane of hair that can't seem to make up its mind whether to grow up, out, or down.
Sinn is engaging. He paces the stage nodding his head like a jackhammer, indicating his approval of the proceedings.
And kids at these shows --- young kids and lots of 'em, too --- eat it up, singing and headbanging right along.
"It's all typical cliché heavy metal lyrics," he says. "But at the same time all the lyrics have hidden political connotations."
"Powers of darkness reign pure in the night / Crimson tides flow / Fight powers that be / Soil gives strength / So the righteous may see," he sings in "Feast of the Damned."
But Sinn takes the dark metal drama even further with a recurring character narrative.
"I'm like, a horror geek," he says, "and a comic book geek. I came up with this whole legend. Blüdwülf is this vampire king who existed through the ages."
One look at Sinn's moon tan, the multitude of crosses around his neck, and his black clothes, and you gotta wonder if he's Blüdwülf.
Blüdwülf has prowled for three years now in Rochester, slowly widening the circle to include cities like Boston, Philadelphia, and New York.
It was Sinn, a scene staple, who got things started. His band of eight years, The End, was over.
"Everyone wanted to go in different directions," Sinn says. "And everyone thought I was a control freak."
He doesn't dispute the allegation.
"Yeah," he says. "But a real subtle one. A very subtle control freak. It takes a couple of years before they realize they're being controlled."
Sinn's control issues come from his very specific definition for how music should sound --- "raw and fast and trashy" --- and how it should look.
"You have to have the look," he says, "a certain rock-star, punk-rock look. Just a look. Something that when you walk into the room everyone knows you're the shit."
So Sinn needed fresh blood with a look and sound to work with --- or at least to mold.
He discovered a young band in Bloomfield called The Manics.
"I was like 'these kids got something kind of cool going,'" he says. "They were country bumpkin kids who could play Iron Maiden perfect."
So Sinn moved in and the subtle control began.
"I was like, 'Wear these clothes, listen to these records,'" he says.
The push-pull dynamic between the 30-year-old Sinn and the band (all in their early 20s) helped forge the Blüdwülf sound.
Other than the odd cover here and there, like Motörhead's "No Class," the band immediately set out to do its own stuff.
"We fight over covers," says Sinn. "I want to do old punk covers and make 'em more metal. They wanna do classic metal songs and make 'em a little more punk."
Sinn's got the recipe to metal the punk: "two guitars, throw a lead in, and speed it up a little."
Punking out the metal's just as easy: "the reverse."
But it all comes back to loud and fast --- and the kids who love it. Blüdwülf shows are crammed with the young disenfranchised. Sinn is their Jim Jones Christ with the cool aid.
"'OK, follow me,'" he says. "'You can learn from this example. Don't think that you can't come up here and do this. But it's a glorious thing when you do."'
Blüdwülf's first album, Cryptic Revelations,will be out in November on a subsidiary of Side One Dummy Records. It should bring the band greater attention in other parts of the world where punk and metal go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Blüdwülf wants to tour. Blüdwülf wants to head east.
"From day one we were like, 'Let's start a band that'll bring us to Japan.'"
Blüdwülf opens for Murphy's Law on Tuesday, October 11, at the Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Avenue, 454-2966, at 9 p.m. Call for tickets. 18+