Following on from LTM's comprehensive The Factory Recordings collection covering the very earliest days of Blurt, Ted Milton's defiantly unique rock/poetry/jazz fusion of whatever caught his fancy, Blurt + Singles covers the first few years of the band's studio work after their departure in annoyance from the legendary Manchester label. Beginning with both sides of their proper debut single as such, "Get" and the entertainingly titled "My Mother Was a Friend of the Enemy of the People," Blurt + Singles benefits in retrospect by being the type of thing that seems like it could have been written and recorded at any number of points over the last few decades. Milton's skronky/sleazy sax work had few immediate reference points at the time, being neither straightforward bar-band parping nor crazed avant garde mayhem while his entertaining rambles and vocal riffs equally veered between singing and theatrical delivery. The seven-track self-titled album, originally released in 1982, showcases more of Blurt's instrumental side, with songs like "Trees" and the comparatively wordier "The Ruminant Plinth" taking longer than most of the band's previous studio work to let the trio, including original members Pete Creese and Jake Milton, explore more spare but relentless rhythms over which Milton makes some of his most extreme sax work. Of the associated singles the steady motorik/r'n'b chug of "A Fish Needs a Bike," with one of Milton's wryer lyrical images and intentionally affected vocal, is the standout, but its snarling flipside "This is My Royal Wedding Souvenir," lyrically almost not there but engagingly referencing the ultimately ill-fated union of Charles and Diana, isn't far behind. A later single, "Spill the Beans," lets the band go for a full eight minute romp and rant, while the concluding "Sharks of Paradise" and "Nomads" cover the initial 1984 recordings featuring guitarist Steve Eagles in place of the departed Creese.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett