Blurt: The Factory Recordings.
(review from Blurtonline.com)
Led by the honking sax and face contortions of erstwhile performance artist Ted Milton, Blurt was one of the strangest bands to ever have records released under the imprimatur of Factory Records.
Yet, the legendary label head Tony Wilson took as shine to this manic trio after hearing a demo tape, and immediately asked the band to contribute to the now-seminal 1980 compilation A Factory Quartet. The four songs the group recorded for the double 10" are collected on this reissue, appended with a live recording intended for release on Factory until Milton's snide comments on the label got them booted (it eventually came out on Armageddon Records).
The British press affixed Blurt with comparison to other sax-welding wild men of the era - James White, Captain Beefheart - but other than the choice of lead instrument the trio were - to put it perhaps too bluntly - too white and too English to sound anything like those other artists. Like fellow Factory band A Certain Ratio, they gamely tried blues, jazz and funk, but it came off as dry and strained. The rhythms rigid and martial and Milton's bleating almost mannered.
Take those dull comparisons out of the equation though, and the band is suddenly a top-notch post punk combo. Milton's aggrieved vocals and political ranting (see the vicious "My Mother Was A Friend of an Enemy of the People") combined with the glassine guitar work of Paul Creese makes for art rock of the highest order. They shine in spite of their pigment and geographic deficiencies, playing to their contorted strengths.
This reissue is really a footnote in the Factory catalog - significantly, no Blurt tracks are included on the forthcoming four-CD A Factory Box Set - considering both the label and the band soldiered on long after their association came to an end (Milton still performs under the name Blurt today). But it stands as a welcome reminder of the forward thinking of both entities in a time when it was it was so sorely needed.
Standout Tracks: "Dyslexia," "Puppeteers of the World Unite"
(8 stars out of 10)
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