For a second there, distorted third-generation lo-fi slop-rock was in, baby! Collegiate Pitchfork readers crushed on Vivian Girls and Wavves, Dusted stumped for Sic Alps, aging GBV stalwarts embraced Times New Viking, No Age scored a Sub Pop deal, noise hipsters gave the stinkeye to Psychedelic Horseshit, and someone somewhere apparently tolerated Blank Dogs. Quickly, the market got deeply saturated, people realized that, as much fun as this stuff could be, those old Sebadoh records were pretty much bullshit to begin with, and things got back to normal.
Home Blitz, a one-man band from Jersey, is hitting its stride after the fad peaked, but everyone knows the most fun people stick around after the party is “dead.” And, for the half-hour duration of HB’s sophomore disc Out of Phase, the party don’t stop.
One key factor separates Home Blitz from all the aforementioned: However sloppy the instrumentation and prankish the attitude, Home Blitz is never precious, always epic.
When it’s rough and experimental, it’s epic. “Nest of Vipers,” one of the most chaotic track-one-side-ones of the subgenre’s history, sets a prohibitively weird tone: Clanging, rattling percussion, a “hook” that goes nowhere, breaking glass, and, in its final seconds, a complete 180. “Other Side of the Street” sounds like a Replacements deep cut passing through a wood-chipper, diced into arrhythmic clamor. “Live Outside” is apparently a field recording of some kind; turn it up loud enough to hear anything, and the next track, “Route 18,” might rupture your eardrum.
When it’s pop, it’s no less epic. The straight-ahead “World War III,” the vaguely Jammy “Is Anybody There?,” the snotty “Don’t Talk to Me” and particularly the irresistible shape-shifting shout-along “Two Steps” could all fit comfortably on (Dusted’s Otis Hart proposed this, if memory serves) Nuggets IV: The Offspring.
Playful without being self-aware, confident without getting comfortable, and far too odd to cross over, Home Blitz is the real thing. And it moves too fast for the sourball lyrics to break the momentum. As cynical as it gets, Home Blitz is still a raucous, unpredictable party.