Omni are a new band hailing from Atlanta Georgia, comprised of former members of Deerhunter and Carnivores. They recently released a brilliant new debut album, Deluxe. The album title Deluxe is a bit of a misnomer, as the album is anything but, and I mean that in the best way possible. Deluxe is not an album that has been coaxed out of studio magic or slaved over with heavy production values. It is a raw distillation of late 70s – early 80s post-punk sounds generated by infectious guitar riffs, muddy and slightly buried vocals, and a foot stomping rhythm section, delivered with a decidedly lo-fi indie rock asthetic. Omni have been on a summer tour across North America supporting the release and recently stopped at the Pinhook in Durham, NC.
Omni took the stage at the Pinhook with the same nonchalant coolness that was sonically evident on their debut. With Philip Frobos stage center on vocals and bass, his fellow ex-Carnivores bandmate Billy Mitchell on drums, and Frankie Broyles on guitar, the band proceeded to rip through a short but powerfully focused set of songs drawn from their debut album. Much like their album counterparts, the songs were raw and unrestrained yet played with precision. The trio was tight as Broyles’ melodic and intricate guitar lines intertwined in an effortless serpentine through Philip Frobos’ thudding bass together subtly lifting the faint, sometimes indecipherable vocals, reminiscent of Michael Stipe with early R.E.M., all driven by Billy Mitchell’s no-nonsense drumming. Omni delivered a riveting mixture of Talking Heads and Television-like art rock filtered through the catchy no nonsense lo-fi indie rock of the Clean and the Tuesday night crowd at the Pinhook ate it up. Grab a copy of Deluxe and give it a listen, and definitely catch the band live if you get the chance.
Opening the show at the Pinhook was SMLH, a local Chapel Hill-area indie-experimental pop outfit driven by the DIY home recordings of Sam Higgins.