Omni: Souvenir [Album Review]

Sub Pop Records [2024]


Album Overview: Omni has been a band since 2016, but it wasn’t until 2019’s Networker that they really caught my attention. Today, guitarist Frankie Broyles, singer/bassist Philip Frobos, and now full-time drummer Chris Yonker return with the follow-up, Souvenir. According to Sub Pop, this album comes after the band’s longest downtime in their history. For that, we get a punchier band that still steep their songs in glassy, mathy tones and structures. For Souvenir, Omni treats this album like a time capsule; each song is a reflection on the time and place of where and when it was recorded. Like a souvenir, a nice little trinket to remember the times.

Musical Style: The album continues to push what Omni has been selling since 2016’s Deluxe. Omni’s musical style is hyper-specific, but that’s only because it’s unique to them. I equate it to a trio of bright, shiny lads hitting the Ed Sullivan stage, but instead of groovy, crooning love songs, it’s vocal chill accompanied by groovy, jittery, glassy math-rock, post-punk, and indie hooks.

Evolution of Sound: This is where Souvenir takes a hit. Omni adds a duet with Izzy Glaudini of Automatic on “Plastic Pyramid,” but this is the same Omni that we’ve listened to since their inception. This is Omni with more of a faster, energetic edge, but the song remains the same. This is where I found Networker to succeed the most and why its hooks and structure make it the stronger record. Networker always kept me guessing, and Souvenir lingers a bit more.

Artists with Similar Fire: Omni continues to show its Devo, Talking Heads, and Wire influences in full force. Repeat listens also start to reveal nods to bands such as Post-Animal, Parquet Courts, Nov3l, and Ought.

Pivotal Tracks: “Plastic Pyramid” shows great dynamics as guitars careen over the bassline, synth hum and thrum in the background, and Glaudini jolts us out of the Wild West to a jumbled solo. “INTL Waters” glides along on thoughtful keys as Frobos’ baritone tells us to “ride your anchor to the bottom of the sea.” The song then culminates in a rush that would pop up in The Strokes or Post Animal catalogue. “F1” cruises down the Sunset Strip with its guitars and crashes into a chorus that shows hints of Mister Goblin.

Lyrical Strength: Like I said, this album comes after the longest downtime in the band’s history. Souvenir is a pandemic record and definitely has nods to it. “Plastic Pyramid” sounds like an Amazon delivery hellscape. “F1” goes for memory and photography metaphors as Frobos states, “You were cropped out of the photo from that long weekend, passed out by the pool, overexposed again.” If you know Omni, then you know it’s sarcasm, romanticism, and smarm.

Networker (2019) / Deluxe (2016)

Omni Website | Instagram | Facebook | Sub Pop Records

Christopher Tahy
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