Home Blitz – Foremost and Fair
In the late ’80s, mounting an impassioned defense of pet band Game Theory, I declared in a ridiculously obscure fanzine, “In ten years’ time, once you’ve all realized Scott Miller is the greatest pop genius since Alex Chilton….” This is not an I Told You So, because I was wrong – It took 25 years, and as is too often the case the accolades didn’t begin to flow until after Miller’s 2013 death. And despite shout-outs from the likes of the New Pornographers’ Carl Newman, tributes have been mostly confined to indie pop’s fringes.
The fringiest of these outfits is Home Blitz; Daniel DiMaggio’s New Jersey-based band is dripping with reverence (an earlier release included a so-so cover of Game Theory’s “Rolling with the Moody Girls”). DiMaggio apes Miller’s breathy, sibilant vocal tics so prominently that it could be construed as parody, but his heart’s in the right place – as is his knack with a power pop hook, which Home Blitz delivers at the breakneck pace of early ’80s new wave, regaled with period keyboard sounds.
Foremost and Fair is a lo-fi affair with plenty to recommend it to the niche audience (myself included) enraptured by such unguarded sounds. DiMaggio can get whiny and grating when his tunes break down into atonality, but fortunately those stretches are isolated. Only “The Hall” qualifies as true mimicry (check Game Theory’s “Dripping with Looks” for the template); elsewhere Home Blitz is paying homage to a vibe. If Robin Thicke and Pharrell can be sued for plagiarism on “Blurred Lines” DiMaggio has a problem. The stakes would be closer to $7.30 than $7.3 million, however, so it may be difficult to get the lawyers interested.
Foremost and Fair