There’s nothing worse than having a gig lined up in your calendar for months suddenly thrown into jeopardy due to getting on the piss the night before. Having spent the entire day feeling sorry for myself, I was concerned that my Wednesday evening plans were doomed. Thankfully, Atlanta, GA trio Omni would end up being the revitalising tonic required and their performance provided enough invigorating qualities to vanquish the hangover.
The first of November saw Omni release their latest album ‘Networker‘, third altogether after 2017’s ‘Multi-Task‘ and 2016 debut ‘Deluxe‘, but their first full length through legendary tastemakers Sub Pop. Notably cleaner and poppier than their first two full-lengths, it still encapsulates what’s so engaging about the band – their knack for penning many a catchy tune, with earworm vocals, post-punk flavourings and the occasional unexpected left-field ending.
If the album coming out was news to you, you would’ve been fine on Wednesday evening, as vocalist Philip Frobos was in mild mannered shill mode. “I gotta tell you guys about this album…” He says at one point, a little twinkle in his eye and sounding a smidge like Tim Heidecker. Later on he whipped the crowd into a frenzy with his sales pitch for their merch (designed by the keen eye of guitarist Frankie Broyles), slashing prices left and right (he would even leap off stage and leg it to the merch table after the final note, eager to placate the growing crowd around their wares).
Omni very much suit the pink tones of YES and the carpeted stage gave off the impression they were playing live in your front room. Frobos is all smiles throughout and often shares a grin or cheeky wink with live drummer Chris Yonker. The band remained in good spirits all night, vibing off the atmosphere of the room as the crowd warmed up. Broyles is cucumber cool and focused on the job at hand (though does break to begin with, soundchecking with the riff from the Friends theme with a wry smile).
With an album to promote, the setlist was obviously heavy with cuts from ‘Networker‘ – From first single ‘Sincerely Yours‘ and ‘Courtesy Call‘, with their Television like guitar work, to ‘Present Tense‘ and its brilliant little drummer flourishes and ‘Skeleton Key‘ with it’s revved up, scrappy live ending (preceded by the announcement/warning that “This one’s a bit of a stomp, so…“)
As well as a new album, earlier this year the band released a single through the Sub Pop Singles Club, one they’d written after constant touring of their first two records. Personal live favourite ‘Delicacy‘ is a joy to hear, with its playful verses and killer riff, one which ensures the room kept bouncing.
“I’ve got a good feeling about tonight…” Said Frobos early on with a smile, one which remained on his face pretty much from the minute they opened with ‘Southbound Station‘ to finishing on ‘Wednesday Wedding‘. Inbetween it’s banger central, with bodies jiving and bouncing up front for the likes of room favourites ‘Afterlife‘, ‘Moat‘ and ‘Siam‘, the ending of the latter seeing the band kick it up a gear, going full pelt as the crowd gets a bit lively up front. With thanks given and a smile firmly planted on his face, Frobos calls it right – “This place is swingin’!”