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Smoke Time

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Due credit had to be given for Milton at this point just for keeping his vision going for so long. Where most of his early punk/no wave contemporaries and inspirations had long since split, by the time Smoke Time appeared, his fusion of wailing angst and arty rock mixed with free jazz touches was down to a science. One of the most striking things about the album viewed from the perspective of history is how goth it almost was, albeit in a restrained sense that calls to mind an audience comfortable with wearing black while not indulging in make-up and haystack hair. The earliest tracks are the most aggressive in this sense, the omnipresent echo on Milton's vocals and often screeching sax supported by strong guitar and drumming from Eagles and Wigens, respectively. It almost calls to mind a city-raised and far more angular version of the Cramps with a fixation on Hubert Selby instead of Hasil Adkins. Subtlety and even left-field catchiness isn't too far away, though, sometimes in the oddest of contexts. "Through by You" is the most affecting, ominous number, with Wigens playing a highly phased, buried-in-the mix violin piece in favor of drumming. The creepy, alien effect works well against Eagles' understated guitar clips and Milton's quietly unnerving singing and horn work. At times, Milton verges on the level of outright hamminess, undercutting himself by taking things too far — "Schadenfreude" is a good example, adding what sounds like an attempt at a German accent that doesn't quite connect, making an otherwise interesting song a bit foolish. Thankfully, most of Smoke Time balances on-the-edge drama and performance skills rather well, and even if Milton is no Rashaan Roland Kirk when it comes to free noise, he still stands out as a more individual all-around performer than any run-of-the-mill rock singer one could care to name.


Genre : Alternative

Années d’activité : '80s, '90s, '00s

Blurt is a new wave band originally consisting of Ted Milton (saxophone, vocals), Pete Creese (guitar), and Jake Milton (drums). Herman Martin (keyboards) replaced Creese after the release of Bullets for You (1984). Steve Eagles (guitar) replaced Martin after Six Views in Black (1985). Paul Wigens (drums, violin) replaced Jake...
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Smoke Time, Blurt
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