Cut It, reviewed in The Line of Best Fit, november 2010
Formed in the late 70s, Blurt have been exploring the outer limits of absurdity for some time now. It’s been 13 years since their last album, but with Cut It! it would appear that the band has lost none of its inventive free form edge.
‘Once More’ opens the album, and all the pieces quickly fit together. That said, Blurt’s music is so disjoined and freewheeling that their songs fit together like a jigsaw that has been randomly assembled with a hammer and blind determination.
Band leader Ted Milton’s freakishly honking saxophone whirls spectacularly; calling to mind the shrinking tones conjured by John Zorn on some of his most challenging work. Allied to a sliding bass figure that seems to have the consistency of gooey rubber and a relentlessly funky drum pattern is Milton’s low in the mix poetry. Growled in a distinctly menacing manner that’s somewhere between unhinged royal correspondent and a sociopathic surgeon Once More glories in a chaotic, disturbing atmosphere.
There’s little let up in the woozy unpleasant feeling laid down by the opening track. So if enduring sonically induced seasickness whilst being lectured by a demonic poet doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, best get off the ride that is Cut It! now.
Pure Scenario dispenses with Milton’s saxophone and immerses itself in tribal rhythms, unsettling electronic interjections and moaning feedback. Milton’s vocal delivery switches between personae continuously, meaning that you never quite get a handle on where he’s coming from, which adds to the feeling that the band are inviting you into a mechanical world from which it is impossible to escape. That the song concludes with the words “private hells” is absolutely no coincidence.
Plunge’s almost industrial backing track is augmented with some quite stunning guitar work which dabbles in almost childlike simplicity before the fuzzbox is stomped on, covering everything in a filthy haze.
For the title track Milton channels the spirit of Captain Beefheart as he hacks through clowns and angels with a chainsaw. Woozy guitars provide a pulse not dissimilar to the pounding in the temples experienced during a hangover and Milton’s saxophone creates an amalgam of the demonic and the heavenly. However there’s no doubt where his affinity lies when he utters the words “CUT IT!” with considerable menace.