The DIY equivalent of moving up to the big leagues, Omni has officially announced signing with Sub Pop Records. With their nervous energy and sharp angles, Philip Frobos’ and Frankie Broyles’ head turning math rock was always destined to move out from the underground. Invoking comparisons to post-punk legends like Wire and The Talking Heads, from day one they exuded that ‘it factor’ you can never quite pinpoint but automatically recognize. Stepping out swinging their contributions to the Sub Pop Singles Club, “Delicacy” and “I Don’t Dance” are simultaneously calm and calculated, anxious and at ease, the perfect introduction for a band that doesn't require one. 

Starting out by slamming on the breaks, “Delicacy” jerks and jitters. Taut and angular, there’s an addictive tension that builds beneath Frobos’ passive vocals and Broyles’ wiry guitar. One of the first songs written since the end of the Multitask tour, “Delicacy” is a love song disguised as an adrenaline rush. With Frobos admitting that the track was inspired by “falling in love, with who would become my wife, on a 23-hour layover in Casablanca, exploring a new continent, feeling intrigued and truly alive,” it reels and jangles, a non-traditional love song for a band obsessed with pushing the envelope. 

Deadpan and geometric, “I Don’t Dance” incorporates a cowbell to rival “And She Was” alongside an elastic bassline. Commanding ‘settle down young man,’ it seems Frobos is giving orders as the rest of the song falls in line eager to obey. With a mechanical rhythm, everything seems to unfold right in front of you, from the poorly planned advance to the uncomfortable confrontation of ‘What do you think she owes you? She doesn’t know you.’

Unnerving and concrete, precise and punky, while they may be moving up there’s no doubt Omni will continue to carry on the charm of “Earrings” and missed connections of “Southbound Station.” Dipping into the past and bending genres in the present, they create soundscapes that feel like equations: all the dimensions and shapes rushing through your mind too quick to add up. While everyone will miss the iconic performance at Makeout Reef that left holes in the wall or their night at Pablo complete with a home cooked meal, it’s evident that Omni is destined for cult-like fame.


samantha sullivan