Framed from within the relentless heatwave of Atlanta, Georgia, Omni cuts through the oppressive humidity of the gilded southern capital with a cool and breezy combo of lo-fi nonchalance. In paying homage to post-punk forebears like Pylon, Wire and Devo, Omni exploits a succinct and focused sound in their 2016 debut. Strung taut with wiry guitar and incisive rhythms, their approach is not without plenty of sneaky, danceable melodies to round off the hard angles. Indeed, ‘Deluxe’ represents a mission statement to cruise a steady though lavish wave of disenchantment like it was 1979.
Enter Networker, the new album by Omni and first with indie giant Sub Pop Records. Their sound is still defined by sparse drums, locked-in bass, blistering guitar, and nonchalant, yet assured vocals, but from the first notes of "Sincerely Yours" you'll immediately notice that Networker sounds much cleaner and more "HI-FI" than their prior two albums, Deluxe (2016) and Multi-task (2017). The departure in fidelity suits the new record and allows the listener to enjoy the nuances of their meticulous arrangements. Don't worry, the riffs of Gang of Four and Wire are still present, but the production is more lush and the harmony is even more expansive. Despite nods to the sounds of the ’70s and ’80s what comes through is a record fully rooted in the here and now. Thematically, this is apparent on the title track “Networker” taking a candid snapshot of the “digital you” aspect of life in the age of the internet. The otherwise fun romp “Skeleton Key” also acknowledges the “direct message and obsessive” side of social media with lines like “if you don’t like what you see, the pretty face on the screen, scroll on by...”