Cue an almighty sigh of relief: after nearly five Omni-less years, Frankie Broyles and Philip Frobos are back with drummer Chris Yonker for the release of their fourth album, Souvenir. The trademark choppy, mathematical precision that oozes so much effortless cool across their past three albums is immediately recognisable and as irresistible as always. For a band that has thrived on a glistening intricate minimalism, the introduction of a more layered instrumentation is a surprising gift.
Conceptually, the album is intended as an offering of self-contained audio objects: a chocolate box of different, individually-wrapped mouthfuls that complement one another. As singular as the tracks are, what they do share is an unrelenting dynamism that lies at the heart of every hard-hitting staccato beat. Each track is a slap in the face from the very beginning, and one you avidly encourage. Their masterful guitar and bass interplay is particularly impressive on tracks like ‘Common Mistakes’, while the stunning ‘Plastic Pyramid’ demonstrates, for the first time, this interplay in vocal form. After touring together and becoming friends, Izzy Glaudini of synth-heavy rock trio Automatic makes an appearance as guest vocalist on three tracks. Inspired by a B-52’s or Nancy & Lee style, ‘Plastic Pyramid’ is an earworm that betrays not an ounce of audible effort.
Lauded by many as a band that completely transformed rock music, their latest contribution is a celebration of their skill as musicians. If there’s one thing that Omni excel at, it’s making technically complex, fast-paced precision slick, exciting, and look easy.