1984: Blurt - Bullets for You

Bullets for You is a classic recommended in hushed tones, even in this age of rabid internet file-sharing. The saxophone screeches without being obnoxious or out for blood like James Chance’s instrument; the guitar plays an amelodic but rhythmic march of random notes; the drums pound ahead monotonically like a choo-choo train trying to boogie for all it’s worth, scared to derail and kill the passengers within; and Ted Milton, the guy who’s blowing the reed, stops handling the sax to sing it and preach it like he’s not too convinced or enthusiastic. Yet it sounds like the most exciting thing in the world, or the 1984 equivalent of that feeling.

Milton formed Blurt in 1979 with his brother Jake, who had played in 70s psychedelic/prog band Quintessence, to give a vehicle to his lyrics. His verses have been described as existentialist, which isn’t surprising once you learn that Ted was a poet in the 60s (admired by the likes of Eric Clapton) before becoming a saxophonist. He was also a puppeteer who, among other things, worked on Terry Gilliam’s Jabberwocky.

More than no wave, Blurt sound like a less hyperactive (and political) prototype for bands like The Dog Faced Hermans, toying with playful dissonance even though their aim isn’t to destroy ears, but to sing a half constricted, poker-faced tune, as if they’re trying not to laugh from being overtly serious. Here’s the title track of the album, which you should definitely track down and enjoy.


There’s a lot of good music out there, and it’s not all being released this year. With DeLorean, we aim to rediscover overlooked artists and genres, to listen to music historically and contextually, to underscore the fluidity of music. While we will cover reissues here, our focus will be on music that’s not being pushed by a PR firm.

Most Read