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Drawing inspiration from groups like Devo, Television, and Josef K, the Atlanta band Omni channel the best herky-jerk pop through the ages, pairing nervous rhythms with slashing guitars and near-monotone vocals. After two albums with Trouble in Mind that saw them outlining then refining their sparse, decidedly lo-fi approach, they shifted to Sub Pop and in 2019 released Networker, an album with fuller arrangements and a brighter sound. Formed by longtime friends ex-Deerhunter guitarist Frankie Broyles and ex-Carnivores bassist/vocalist Philip Frobos soon after Broyles jumped the Deerhunter ship in late 2015, the duo cooked up a new idea for a band over the course of a long drunken night's work. With songs in hand, they recruited another ex-Carnivore, Billy Mitchell, to handle the drumming chores. The next step was playing live shows and recording an album with another ex-Carnivore, Nathaniel Higgins, in the producer's chair. Chicago label Trouble in Mind liked what they heard from Omni and decided to release the album, Deluxe, in July 2016. After the record's release, the trio embarked on a quick tour of the U.S. Early the next year, the band released a single made up of two tracks ("Fever Bass"/"Thesis") recorded for Deluxe but not used. Broyles released a solo EP, Slow Return, soon after that on the Skeleton Realm label. Meanwhile, Omni (with Broyles pulling a second shift on drums) began working on their second album, teaming again with producer Higgins and recording at his studio, which was housed in a barn in rural Georgia that was built by Broyles' grandfather in the 1940s. The very similar-sounding Multi-Task was issued in September 2017 by Trouble in Mind. Between spells of touring, the group started recording their third album in familiar territory with Higgins. Broyles again handled drum duties along with keyboards. They laid down songs over the course of four sessions during the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019, refining and focusing their sound while adding more elements like jazz and Tom Verlaine-style guitar slashes. Omni jumped from Trouble in Mind to Sub Pop, and the label released the first fruits of the sessions -- the "Delicacy/"I Don't Dance" single -- in April 2019. They followed that later in the year with their third album, Networker.
© Tim Sendra /TiVo
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