9:30 presents at U Street Music Hall
1115 U Street NW
Washington, DC, 20009
Framed from within the relentless heatwave of Atlanta, Georgia, Omni cuts through the oppressive humidity of the gilded southern capital with a cool and breezy combo of lo-fi nonchalance. In paying homage to post-punk forebears like Pylon, Wire and Devo, Omni exploits a succinct and focused sound in their 2016 debut. Strung taut with wiry guitar and incisive rhythms, their approach is not without plenty of sneaky, danceable melodies to round off the hard angles. Indeed, 'Deluxe' represents a mission statement to cruise a steady though lavish wave of disenchantment like it was 1979.
'Multi-Task’ is an improvement to that surefire philosophy. Where guitarist Frankie Broyles once kept his noodling perfectly strict and razor-sharp, he now fans and stretches out, allowing his silvery tone to breathe in a way that summons the art and funk of Roxy Music, or occasionally even the cheekiness of Sparks. Vocalist and bassist Philip Frobos continues to ebb and flow with his crisp and oft-detouring beats. Philip's stony voice retains a detached stoicism with hints of spirit sneaking in here and there. On the road for a solid year and left to finish the record in between tours, Omni ratchets the fidelity higher as the punk gets more 'proto' and less ‘post'—all while the decade melts away - ex post facto, into the late 60s and early 70s. Welcome in the eccentricities, guys.
With 'Multi-task', Omni capitalizes on the indulgences of ‘Deluxe’ melodically, rythmically and in their aesthetic indifference. In doing so, they never sound ostentatious during any facet of their evolution. It’s with that expert handling of subtlety that the power trio—recently bolstered by the addition of ex-Warehouse drummer Doug Bleichner—has managed so much of its charm in its brief history. Luxuriate in two-minute track after three-minute track of covert hooks that lock into subconsciouses and keep the record spinning, front to back to front again.